Manila overtakes Quezon City as ‘car theft capital’: 19 cases in 1 monthBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Manila, the country’s seat of power, is now also the “car theft capital” of the Philippines, an official of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) of the Philippine National Police said Tuesday.
According to Superintendent Edwin Butacan, HPG spokesman, Manila has taken the unflattering tag from Quezon City as more car theft cases have been reported in the city since February than in any other area in the metropolis.
Butacan said that in August alone, 19 vehicles were reported stolen in Manila compared to nine in Quezon City.
The HPG recorded 50 car theft cases nationwide during the same month, he added.
“[That has been the trend] since February. Manila now tops the list [of areas] where [car theft cases are rampant],” Butacan said in a news briefing at Camp Crame.
Asked what could be the reason for the hike in incidents in Manila, he said: “Since Quezon City is widely considered as the ‘car theft capital,’ the HPG augmented the efforts of the Quezon City police …”
According to him, the order of former HPG director Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, now the director of the National Capital Region Police Office, to deploy more patrol units to Quezon City helped the police curb the operations of car theft syndicates.
“So now we can see that if we focus our police operations on a specific area … we can really decrease the number of car theft cases in that place,” Butacan said.
At the same time, he noted that the reported number of stolen vehicles in August considerably dropped compared to the same period last year.
A total of 127 vehicles were taken from their owners in August 2011 compared to 50 for the same month this year, down by almost 60 percent, Butacan said.
Of the 50, 26 were motorcycles. According to the HPG official, aside from motorcycles, the following vehicles are the favorite targets of car thieves: Mitsubishi Montero, Nissan Urvan, Toyota Vios and Toyota Grandia.
“That’s because motorcycles are easy to steal. At the same time, it’s also difficult to recover stolen motorcycles,” Butacan said.