Car theft concern in Oshana

By Marx Itamalo

THE police in Oshana say 26 cars were stolen in the past year in the region and thus imploring residents to be cautious and to take all the necessary steps in order to protect their vehicles. Inspector Tomas Aiyambo, the region’s police spokesperson revealed this to Confidente on Tuesday.
Out of the stolen vehicles, 17 were recovered – however abandoned and stripped of parts. The rest evaporated into thin air and are believed to have been totally stripped or having been smuggled into neighbouring Angola where there is allegedly a lucrative and thriving business for stolen cars.
Aiyambo told this publication that the cases of car theft in the region have soared and appealed to residents to take precaution measures in order to avoid losing their cars to thieves.
“We have been telling people many times to be careful wherever they are. We have been telling them to employ methods that can prevent thieves from stealing their cars but it appears our calls fell on deaf ears,” he stated.
He stressed that methods such as using steering and gearbox locks can make it difficult for a car to be stolen. “Alternatively people should also have an alarm installed in their cars, especially the older models. Also you can remove an important component from the car every night before going to bed, so that it doesn’t move when somebody wants to steal it.” he advises.
The regional police spokesman added that most of the stolen cars are taken from houses at night after being parked. “In most cases thieves break the lock and push the car a safe distance where they start it and drive off,” he explained. Apart from those stolen at night, some are stolen at shopping malls and other public places such as car washes, he stated.
Aiyambo said the police investigation concluded that most cars are stolen by people who want car parts for their broken cars or to sell them to third parties.
“You find a stolen car abandoned with many parts removed, important parts such as starters, alternator or timing system. They remove the parts and abandon the car. People should be careful.” However, there are different incidents in which cars were stolen from owners. Last week, a taxi driver was robbed of his car after thieves beat him and took it away from him between Ondangwa and Oshakati. The incident happened at night at near Omagongati village in Oshana.
According to the police, three men boarded the car and enticed the driver to take them to some cuca-shops off the main road. It was whilst on the gravel road en-route to the cuca-shops that they beat him, leaving him for dead and drove off.
A passerby found him and took him to the hospital. The car is not yet found.
Last year, at the Sun Square shopping mall in Ondangwa, a car was stolen when the driver left the engine on while he went to buy pizza in a shop. The police are still looking for the car.