Vehicle thefts down by 37% in 2020, but cops warn public to beware of 'evolving' thieves

Datuk Dev Kumar (second, left) together with Mas Tina Abdul Hamid (second, right), at the soft launch of PDRM-VTREC vehicle theft public awareness campaign 2021.— ART CHEN/The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: More than 7,000 vehicles were stolen in the country last year, a drop of 37% from 2019, but authorities say more could be done to raise public awareness of the crime.

Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (VTREC) coordinator Mas Tina Abdul Hamid said an average of 20 vehicles were stolen daily in 2020 compared to 32 per day in 2019.

"We have seen a reduction in vehicle thefts of 37% with 7,400 cases reported last year compared to 11,675 in 2019.

"According to statistics from Insurance Services Malaysia, 3,993 motorcycles, 2,981 private cars and 426 commercial vehicles were stolen last year," she said at the soft launch of the Vehicle Theft Public Awareness Campaign at TPC Kuala Lumpur on Monday (April 5).

Mas Tina said that last year, the most frequently stolen car was the Proton Wira (353) followed by Proton Iswara (273) and Toyota Hilux (209).

Bukit Aman CID (Intelligence/Operations) deputy director Deputy Comm Datuk Dev Kumar said although the number of vehicle thefts was declining, more could be done to raise awareness of the crime.

"Every year, these syndicates evolve their modus operandi and acquire more sophisticated gadgets.

"We must also evolve with them and not allow them to have the upper hand over the police," he told reporters after the event.

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