Categorized | National News

Car Buyers Warned

Car buyers beware.

Police are once again warning members of the public to be cautious about whom they purchase cars from as the number of cars stolen so far for the year is already is the triple digits.

During a news conference at the Central Detective Unit (CDU) yesterday, officials revealed that some 136 cars have been reported stolen since January.

And while that number is down by 18, officials say it is still alarming.

Figures show that of the number of vehicles stolen – 88 of them are Hondas and 27 of them were Nissan make vehicles.

Some of the popular models being stolen are Honda Swifts and Odyssey – mostly Japanese made.

Last year, police arrested 200 people believed to be a part of a massive car stealing ring.

CDU Superintendent Paul Rolle sent a stern warning to those unsuspecting car shoppers, especially from the Family Islands.

“In some instances, you find that persons purchase cars and they look for a one-stop shop. They are operating as if they are one of the business establishments. On the heel of that though, you would find that there are persons who, as opposed to going in and paying $700 for insurance or $200 for licencing, they go to this person who has all the validation stickers and they are getting a reduced price,” he said.

“We are satisfied that these persons must know that there is something wrong with that.”

As a result, officials are asking that customers only deal with well-known car dealerships.

Inspector Fredrick Taylor said customers should take all the precautions.

“We’re asking that before any money is exchanged between the seller and the buyer to bring the vehicle to CDU so that we can examine the vehicle to make sure that the vehicle is not stolen. This is free of charge. It takes less than 15 minutes to be done. We are taking a lot of vehicles from customers and they are losing thousands of dollars from purchasing these vehicles when they determine that the vehicle is stolen,” he said.

“We also want to ask persons to please protect their vehicles with locking devices. Never leave identification markers on your keys, always lock and secure your vehicle. Do not leave your vehicle running unattended and please hide all your valuables in your trunk and do not leave them in the open.”
Some of the anti-theft devices police suggest customers purchase are ignition kill switches, keypads, fuel kill switches, steering wheel locks or clubs, floorboard, gearshift, tire or wheel locks, alarms and vehicle tracking devices.

Assistant Superintendent Matthew Edgecombe advised residents to licence their cars themselves.

“What is important is that people are honest with themselves. We all know Road Traffic is there to licence your car. Go to Road Traffic and do it the proper way,” he said.

“A lot of people will come there and say as a defence that they didn’t know. That is no excuse and you will wind up in court and you could end up with a police record and fined. So let’s do it the right way – go to Road Traffic, fill out the documents properly, bring the car to CDU and get it checked properly so that you can save yourself thousands of dollars and jail time.”

Superintendent Rolle also appealed to the public to assist the police.

“You know who these persons are that are stealing these cars. If you know your neighbour didn’t have a car when you went to bed last night but you wake up this morning and he has a car like a Honda Fit parked in the back of his yard or an Odyssey or Maxima – give us a call,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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