Saint Lucia Police have disclosed that over fifty vehicles were reported stolen over a period of less than four months beginning in August this year.
Assistant Commissioner of Police responsible for operations, George Nicholas told a news conference Friday that the numbers recorded were 15 in August, 16 in September, 15 in October and 7 so far for November, 2018.
“The numbers we recorded earlier this year are a bit less than we are recording now, but generally speaking once we are approaching the Christmas season there is an increase in criminal activity across the board in all categories of crime and motor vehicles are no exception,” the senior police official told reporters.
Nicholas revealed that in recent times the police have been recovering more vehicles and at an earlier stage before they are scrapped.
He said because the numbers fluctuate from month to month, it is difficult to say whether there has been an increase or decrease in thefts.
Nicholas told reporters that the vehicle thefts are of great concern to the police who are working to bring the situation under control.
He disclosed that law enforcement officials are doing an analysis of reports of stolen vehicles.
He explained that some key locations have been identified where the stolen vehicles are taken to be scrapped.
Nicholas said a designated team of officers is pursuing leads and monitoring the designated areas.
He noted that a number of persons have already been charged with vehicle theft,
The Assistant Commissioner of Police highlighted one case in which a man who was in possession of different vehicle parts amounting to about $30,000 was arrested.
“He is currently on bail for $3,000,” Nicholas stated.
“So we are making progress,” the police official declared.
However, Nicholas appealed to motorists to take measures to try to protect themselves.
He said the police have found that the vehicle thieves are generally ‘opportunists’ who did not stick to one form of crime but strike when the opportunity presents itself.