If you drive an ordinary Toyota Premio and Noah vehicle in Kampala, you are at high risk of being attacked by robbers because of the increasing demand for spare parts for such vehicles, according to Police’s latest findings.
The report compiled by Flying Squad commander, Senior Superintendent of Police –SSP Andrew Kaggwa, shows that in the last three months, Noah and Premio vehicles have been targeted most and the criminals take only minutes to dismantle them to get spare parts.
Police says out of 31 vehicle theft cases registered between May and July, at least 60 percent of robbery and theft incidents involve Premio and Noah, while other ordinary cars like Raum and Spacio follow suit.
“From the month of May, we registered an increase in thefts and robbery of vehicles in KMP areas. The vehicles are stolen from public parking areas, street parking, funerals, weddings, churches, bars and clubs. Premio ordinary and Noah are the most targeted. They are dismantled for spare parts. Other vehicles have been resprayed, their log books altered,” SSP Kaggwa highlight in report shared to police headquarters.
Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, says drivers of Super Customs, Tipper Lorries should also be extra careful as they are being killed by criminals that disguise as clients. David Ntanzi, a Tipper driver was early this year hired and killed by people who disguised as clients.
“The criminals disguise as clients and along the way, they attack and strangle the driver to death. We urge owners of Tipper lorries, Super Custom and Toyota Hiace to be very careful. These vehicles end up in DRC, Tanzania and Kenya through porous borders,” says Enanga.
The Kampala metropolitan area has since May registered back to back incidents of armed robberies where criminals were using guns reportedly grabbed from private security guards. In Mukono municipality, a group of robbers were linked to 13 robbery incidents involving huge amounts of money and motor vehicles. These incidents prompted security commanders to issue a shoot to kill directive.
Richard Lugoloobi, a resident of Mukono, attributes robberies in Mukono to landlords who do not register tenants with local councils. Lugoloobi said many homes in Mukono have guards who are not known where they come from.
Enanga, quoting the flying squad report, said the operations against motor vehicle and motorcycle robbers have resulted into the arrest of 17 suspects. Police have also recovered 42 motorcycles since May in operations against robbery.
The Vura border in Arua district has been cited one of the major exit route for stolen vehicles and motorcycles to DRC. Also porous entry and exit points at Malaba and Mutukula have also seen a number of stolen vehicles exit the country according to police.