By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: Police have cautioned members of the public to be on alert following the increased gang targeting motor vehicles in parking spaces and washing bays in Kampala.
This has been confirmed by Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga saying several cases of vehicles stolen in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area have been reported since May this year.
“From the month of May, we registered an increase in vehicles stolen. Most of these are stolen from parking areas, street parking; during functions like funerals, introductions and weddings; at churches, bars and clubs,” Enanga said while addressing journalists at Police Headquarters in Naguru
Enanga further explained that most of these are stolen after the owners or drivers are targeted by the robbers who follow them noting at washing bays, the robbers connive with attendants who help them duplicate the car keys and after this, those to carry out the mission trail the owners or drivers to the parking places where the vehicle is stolen immediately is parked and the owner moves out.
The robbers are also said to use master keys to open vehicles with weak lock systems.
“Premio ordinary and Noah vehicles are the most targeted vehicles through this kind of robbery. They are dismantled for spare parts since they have a ready market,” he added.
He adds that taxis, Super Customs and tipper lorries are also targeted by the gang whose members disguise to be hiring the vehicles for use and that during the journey, these strangle the driver and turn boy before taking off with the vehicles.
The robbers also use chloroform in some cases to lace drivers before taking off with vehicles.
“They are re-sprayed with new colours whereas chassis numbers and log books are altered. Most of them end up in DRC through the porous border of Vurra but also to Kenya via Busia, and Tanzania via ungazetted routes at Mutukula.”
The police spokesperson said that since May, the Flying Squad has arrested 17 members of the gang whereas 31 vehicles and 42 motorcycles have been recovered during the operations.
“We have strengthened our border security and system checks by deploying more Flying Squad Unit personnel and also mounting snap checkpoints on highways.”
Enanga said police are working with Interpol to help return the stolen vehicles impounded in neighbouring countries like Kenya, Tanzania and DRC.
A few years ago, it was reported that the process of returning vehicles from DRC to Uganda was a tedious one since it requires a lot of money.
It was said that after the vehicles are stolen, they are sold to rich businessmen in DRC and want compensation before giving up on the vehicles that they claim to have bought with their money.