Syndicates using vans and light trucks to steal motorcycles

ACP Abang Ahmad (left) presents an appreciation certificate to a police officer during the Kuching District police headquarters' monthly assembly near Simpang Tiga here today.

KUCHING, Jan 9: Motorcyclists are urged to be vigilant in securing their motorcycles when left parked unattended as bike-stealing syndicates now are using vans to steal and haul bikes.

Kuching District police chief ACP Abang Ahmad Abang Julai said this modus operandi came to light when a police task force specifically set up to solve bike theft cases arrested bike thieves recently who used a van to steal and haul away stolen bikes.

Speaking to reporters after the district police’s monthly assembly at its headquarters near Simpang Tiga here today, he said it would not be enough for motorcyclists to just lock their machine handlebars as thieves could still haul the machines into their vans or maybe light trucks.

“Two or three days ago, the task force managed to arrest several suspects with a van carrying stolen bikes. I cannot reveal further the details of the task force as the operation is still ongoing.

“My advise to motorcyclists is to double-lock your machines as well as chain them up to stationary fixed objects like security railings, and make sure your machines are visible to the public,” he said.

Despite a reduction in crime cases in 2017 compared to 2016, motorcycle theft cases continued to rise last year with 118 cases reported, or about 22.5 per cent of crime cases in 2017.

On that note, ACP Abang Ahmad also advised motorcyclists to not make false police reports claiming their bikes had been stolen, where in actual fact their machines have been confiscated by the banks or other financial institutions because they failed to pay their loans.

“We have received several such cases (false reports) in 2016. Offenders can be charged with making false reports,” he warned.

ACP Abang Ahmad speaks to reporters after the Kuching District police headquarters’ monthly assembly near Simpang Tiga here.

Meanwhile, ACP Abang Julai also applaud his officers for their job well done in ensuring security while at the same time gaining public confidence in battling crime in the district, as an independent body from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) reported that 86.6 per cent of random correspondents polled said Kuching District is now safer than it was five years ago.

“We have been evaluated by an independent body from UUM and received good remarks. They conducted a poll consisting of members of the public. Out of the pool, 86.6 per cent said Kuching is now safer compared to five years ago. However about 9.9 per cent said it is more unsafe while the rest said Kuching is still the same as it was five years ago.

“This shows that the police are doing their jobs well and the majority of the public have faith in the police force in ensuring security and peace in Kuching District,” he said.

On another note, ACP Abang Ahmad revealed that the crime index in 2017 (1,554) was reduced by 56 or about 3.48 per cent compared to 2016 with 1,610 cases.

On drug-related cases in 2017, 1,758 suspects have been arrested, with Syabu-related arrests being the most with seizures amounting to about 23,041.42 grams worth RM6.5 million.

For commercial crimes, most cases involved online and phone scams with 43 cases reported in 2017. ACP Abang Ahmad said these include the Macau scam, the African scam and the online lover scam, with losses amounting to RM1.7 million.

“Victims are aged between 25 and 60-years-old,” he said, while advising the public not to trust anybody unknown online or on social media.

On traffic statistics, ACP Abang Ahmad said there had been a reduction in traffic accident-related deaths in 2017 which was four less compared to 2016 with 37 deaths.

“We will intensify the efforts of our traffic enforcements and operations in the district by organising operations and roadblocks especially during festive or peak seasons,” he said. — DayakDaily