Consumers in Saint Lucia have been cautioned against facilitating vehicle thefts, amid a spike in reports of vehicles being stolen in several parts of the country.
National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, says members of the public can assist.
“When those guys take the vehicles, they mostly take the vehicles to scrap it and there is a market out there for parts. So if we don’t buy our parts from reputable dealers, then there is an issue,” the former Deputy Police Commissioner asserted.
He expressed the view that there may also be markets in the Caribbean for parts that are removed from vehicles that are stolen here.
Francis asserted that there is need for persons to be arrested and dealt with very seriously by the courts.
He recalled that some time ago, an individual was arrested with over 100 vehicle keys in his possession, but was released on bail when he appeared in court.
The minister called on citizens to protect themselves.
“When you have spent so much money to purchase a car, to buy a steering lock is an insignificant cost compared to the cost of the vehicle. So get your steering locks,” he advised.
According to Francis, eventually the police will be able to arrest a few people and such gadgets may not be necessary.
“But right now we have to be proactive in making sure that we protect our assets,” the minister explained.
Saint Lucia police have disclosed that they have a special team in place to deal with the spike in vehicle thefts.