Police bust motor vehicle theft racket

Some of the vehicles that were stolen in Mbarara District in June 2022. Photos/ Benson Tumusiime

What you need to know:

  • Sources in police told this publication that detectives have obtained intelligence showing that most vehicles are stolen using master keys.
  • The vehicles are then dismantled and sold as spare parts.

Police have uncovered a racket of 12 people believed to be part of a gang involved in stealing vehicles in Kyankwanzi District and in greater Kampala.
Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, yesterday told journalists in Kampala that the Directorate of Crime Intelligence carried out an operation which helped in dismantling an organised criminal gangs that had specialised in stealing motor vehicles from parking yards and they would later drive them to hidden places in Kasangati, Mukono and Wakiso where the vehicles would be sold cheaply to buyers and other car dealers.
“We Arrested 12 suspects that led to the successful recovery of six stolen motor vehicles and one motorcycle, other vehicles were dismantled and sold in form of spare parts to buyers in Mukono and Kalerwe in Kampala city,” he said.

Sources in police told this publication that detectives have obtained intelligence showing that most vehicles are stolen using master keys. The vehicles are then dismantled and sold as spare parts.
However,  detectives are still hunting for more people who have been helping the suspects to alter the chassis and engine numbers of the stolen vehicles.
Mr Enanga said the investigations show that the Toyota Premio belonged to Mr Bosco Katumba but it carried a fake registration number UAY 738T. 
Other vehicles  which also carried fake registration number plates and owners are yet to be identified.

He called upon persons whose motor vehicles were stolen and fall in the above categories to visit the Directorate of Crime Intelligence offices on John Babiha (Acacia) Avenue in Kampala  to claim ownership.
“We have submitted the details of the stolen motor vehicles including the engine number, chassis number to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for further verification,” Mr Enanga said.
According to  the latests police crime annual report, a total of 880 cases of  stolen motor vehicles were reported in 2020 compared to 1,147 cases in 2019 .
Meanwhile, 3,507 cases of thefts of motor cycles were reported in 2020 compared to 4,249 cases in 2019.

Recovered cars  
Five motor vehicles including three canter trucks (UBF 478H, UBF 744Y, UAY 166T), one Sahara Nissan (UAL 201H), a Toyota Premio (UBE 524Q) and two Bajaj motor cycles (UFP 344Q, UFP 598H) have been recovered. They were stolen from Ntwetwe, Kiryandongo and Bwerima sub-counties from late  2016.
 

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