Car thefts lower this year by 26%, says PNPBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Car thieves are not as busy as before, with the number of car thefts dropping by a quarter in the first half of the year compared with the same period a year ago, the Highway Patrol Group of the Philippine National Police said Friday.
Superintendent Edwin Butacan, HPG spokesperson, said there were 547 car thefts nationwide from January to June compared with 739 in the first half of 2011, representing a 26 percent decline.
The fall in the incidence of car theft and carjacking cases was most felt in June when only 49 were recorded, down 69 percent from 159 incidents documented in June 2011, the official told reporters at a briefing in Camp Crame.
But Butacan acknowledged that car thieves remained in business, especially in Metro Manila.
“It’s already considered an industry. It’s still a huge business that earns millions of pesos despite our efforts,” he said.
Among the modus operandi of syndicates, Butacan said, would be to rent a car, produce new papers for it and eventually sell it again to “unsuspecting buyers.”
“Kung titignan mo, parang estafa lang [If you look at it, it’s like estafa] . . . based on Republic Act 6539, [or the Anti-Carnapping Act],” he said, adding that syndicates would even use women to convince rent-a-car owners to give the vehicles.
“So habang nandun yung mga sindikato na nagtatrabaho dito . . . hindi natin basta basta ma-zero yung carnapping [So while syndicates abound, we cannot completely eradicate carnapping],” Butacan said.
Butacan said more than 10 car theft rings, or “carnapping” syndicates in local parlance, continue to operate, although a number of these have been “neutralized” in armed encounters with the police.
“When we say ‘neutralized,’ it means they are temporarily stopped from doing their activities because they were arrested. But since they have the right to bail, when they get out, their activities continue. They just go in and out,” he said.