Unable to lift cars, thieves turn to stealing auto parts

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Unable to lift cars, thieves turn to stealing auto parts

LAHORE: The city is witnessing a new trend of thievery – stealing of vehicle parts – as several citizens have been deprived of their new cars’ side mirrors, batteries, tyres and other accessories.

The police have also failed to control street crimes in the city despite getting new cars, bikes, latest technologies, weapons and other facilities, while dacoits are looting citizens on roads, streets, shops and inside the houses on a daily basis.

According to details, several police stations across the city have been receiving complaints of auto parts thefts, and despite getting hold of the CCTV footages from the crime scenes, the law enforcers are yet to arrest the culprits.

Sources said that such thieves were part of a group of highly skilled technicians, who have connections with vendors dealing in automobile parts and accessories, especially in Bilal Gunj.

A citizen, Makhdoom, of Gulberg told Daily Times that some unidentified thieves stole his car battery and side mirrors twice during the last two months, as he parked his car outside the house. He said that he told the police about the incident on their helpline, but nothing was done to catch the culprits.

Another citizen, Javed, said that he parked his car near his house in the street and some thieves stole his car batteries three times in two months. To a question, he said that he did not inform the local police due to police officers’ traditional attitude.

A few days ago, Fahad of Iqbal Town had gone to his in-laws for dinner with his wife and two kids in Johar Town area, and when they were about to leave for home, the family discovered that the side mirrors of their brand new car were missing. Soon they realised that someone had actually broken the entire frame along with the mirrors and the only thing left were the wires hanging out from the sockets.

An employee of a multinational company, Saima, said that when she stepped out of her office and reached her car, she realised that the driver-side window had been smashed and her in-car entertainment system along with the air conditioning vents and knobs were missing. She had to drive back home without any air conditioning and an empty space where she once had her expensive entertainment system installed.

Keeping in view the increasing incidents of auto parts theft, the administration of Askari V was forced to issue a circular to local residents about taking preventive measures to save the parts of their cars, like side mirrors, batteries, tyers and their rims.

As per the circular, the Askari V administration requested the residents to park their cars inside the garage or in front of the flat where light and CCTV cameras must be installed. They also advised residents not to use expensive tyre rims because the robber usually targeted expensive car parts.

According to a spokesperson for the DIG operations, a number of FIRs regarding theft of side-view mirrors and other parts had been registered in different police stations of the city. However, so far, none of the police stations had managed to arrest the culprits. “The problem is that the mirrors are small, compact and portable, and can be easily transported without being noticed.”

On the condition of anonymity, shopkeepers who sell used mirrors, tyres, rims and other parts said that they buy such auto parts from genuine dealers. “None of us buys stolen mirrors and other parts anymore, as that can create serious problems for us.”

According to them, the thieves sell the stolen mirrors and other parts independently on comparatively lower rates, like Rs 4,000 to Rs 20,000.

Shopkeepers added that all stolen parts were sold at different markets of the city independently and if the police wanted to curb this menace, all they had to do was set up surveillance around and inside the markets dealing in used and stolen vehicle parts. This way they can catch the criminals on the spot, they said.

Published in Daily Times, September 28th 2017.

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