Vehicle thefts reduced by 37%

KUALA LUMPUR: An average of 20 vehicles were reported stolen daily last year, with Proton Wira cars top of the list again.

Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (VTREC) coordinator Mas Tina Abdul Hamid said the average number of cars reported stolen daily had decreased from 32 in 2019.

“The total number of vehicle thefts has reduced by 37%, with 7,400 cases reported last year compared to 11,675 cases 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 during the soft launch of the Vehicle Theft Public Awareness Campaign here yesterday.

Mas Tina said 353 Proton Wira cars were stolen, followed by Proton Iswara (273), Toyota Hilux (209), Perodua Myvi (131), Perodua Kancil (114), Proton Saga (110), Proton Waja (104), Honda Civic (85), Honda City (75) and Toyota Vellfire (60) last year.

VTREC is a non-profit organisation formed in 2007.

It consists of stakeholders in the local insurance industry as well as government and non-government agencies that include General Insurance Association of Malaysia (Piam), Malaysia Takaful Association, police, Bank Negara Malaysia, Transport Ministry, Road Transport Department, Puspakom, Customs Department and Malaysian Automotive Association.

It conducts analyses on weaknesses in the automobile industry, monitors cooperation in implementing initiatives between stakeholders, and creates a forum to suggest improvements for the ministries involved.

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.

He said every year, car theft syndicates would change their modus operandi and use increasingly sophisticated gadgets to steal cars.

“We also have to evolve to keep up with the trend and not allow them to have an upper hand over the police, ” he told reporters after attending the event.

Comm Dev Kumar said based on police observations, local cars were stolen and cannibalised for parts while foreign-made vehicles would be shipped to buyers overseas.

“Having additional security measures, such as steering and pedal locks as well as dashboard cameras, can act as a deterrent. While we are constantly taking action against such syndicates, the public must also do their part and not provide easy opportunities that thieves could take advantage of, ” he said.

The Star had reported in 2018 that the Proton Wira, which has little value in the used car market, was a hot item among thieves.

In 2017, a total of 654 cars were reported stolen mainly for parts.

Piam chief executive officer Mark Lim was quoted as saying that the stolen cars were cannibalised and sold for spare parts as the production of new parts for this model had stopped and thus, difficult to obtain.

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