The owners of Nissan Tiidas are being urged to invest in security features, as thieves continue to target these particular types of cars.
The advice was offered by Sgt Shala Julien of the police Stolen Vehicles Squad, during the weekly police media briefing at the Police Administration Building, Sackville Street, Port of Spain, on Thursday morning.
Referring to data compiled by his unit over the past year, Julien said Nissan Tiidas were among those most targeted by bandits, with Toyota Aquas in second place, Nissan AD Wagons and Wingroads sharing third place and Toyota Fielder Wagons fourth.
He said Kia K2700 and Hyundai H100 vans were also highly sought by criminals.
Julien said outside the usual advice of locking all doors and windows and parking in well-lit areas, additional features should also be considered.
"A key approach people can make is to outfit their vehicles with some measure of security. Quite often we see reports of larceny motor vehicles or robbery of motor vehicles and there are no security mechanisms.
"We would advise people to instal a shift lock or steering lock which can make it difficult for thieves. Instal an interior monitoring system which can detect movement after the vehicle has been locked.
"Consider a GSM car alarm. This allows a message to be sent to the subscriber if the vehicle is broken into, and the more popular option is to instal a GPS tracking system, which allows the owner to know the precise location of the vehicle. And there are some features where the vehicle can be shut down remotely."
Referring to a recent incident in Valsayn in which a resident frightened away car thieves with an air horn, Julien also advised residents to form neighbourhood watch groups to increase their overall vigilance as a community.
Julien said there were 691 reports of stolen vehicles between January 1 and June 1.
Of this figure, he said 34 per cent of vehicles stolen were from the Northern Division, which extends from St Joseph to Arima and La Horquetta.
He added that the police had a 39 per cent recovery rate for the stolen vehicles.
Responding to claims on social media that thieves were using a device to electronically disable cars and then pretend to help drivers in Chaguanas before stealing them, Julien said police had received no reports of any thefts similar to this, but also warned car owners to be wary of "good samaritans" offering help.
"We can advise where people find themselves facing unusual technical failures where their alarm systems are concerned, we advise them to avoid casual strangers who may be over-enthusiastic to help, as they may hold ulterior motives.
"Instead, contact a known professional."
He advised anyone who may have experienced such a theft to contact the Stolen Vehicles Squad at 627-0729, 800-TIPS, 555 or any police station.