The T&T Police Service yesterday admitted motor vehicle larceny has increased this year over the corresponding period for 2021, with the Northern Division recording the highest numbers of 223 vehicles being reported stolen or missing. This was followed by the Central Division - 136; North Eastern Division - 98 and the Southern Division - 83.
Speaking during the weekly media briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Insp Lloyd Lazarus, who heads the Stolen Vehicle Squad, also said the top four vehicles most targeted by car thieves since the year began are the Toyota Aqua (113 stolen); Nissan AD Wagon (70 stolen); Nissan B14 (37 stolen) and the Toyota Fielder (35 stolen).
Lazarus explained that these vehicles are generally targeted because they have low to no security features, making it easy for the perpetrators to steal. In addition, he said the vehicles can also be easily cloned by unscrupulous persons and due to their popularity, they easily blend in, making it difficult for police to detect their true status without extensive security checks.
In order to reduce incidents of car theft, Lazarus urged the public to make use of legitimate car parking facilities; desist from leaving keys in the ignition and/or vehicles idling; park in high-trafficked areas and install GPS, alarms and gear locks.
He also advised vehicle owners to etch their registration number on the door glass or inside the cars where it cannot be easily seen, as this would be one way for them to easily identify a vehicle if it was stolen.
Providing statistics for the Port-of-Spain Division, Lazarus said in 2021 there were 45 incidents of motor vehicle larceny; and 23 motor vehicle robberies reported. For 2022 to date, however, 60 incidents of motor vehicle larceny have been reported; with 17 motor vehicle robberies.
Lazarus said the detection rate in the PoS Division had increased by 400 per cent for the period 2022.
He attributed the downward trend in the PoS Division in relation to the robbery of motor vehicles and the detection of larceny of vehicles, as largely due, “to crime fighting initiatives in the realm of stolen vehicles and the strategic deployment of patrols within the division.”
He said the decline had also been impacted by a greater public awareness, as persons were paying more attention to personal safety and security of their assets.
He said 56 people have so far been charged with motor vehicle larceny across the country since the year began. —Anna-Lisa Paul