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St Thomas police after Toyota thieves

Published:Sunday | January 18, 2015 | 1:00 AM

Jolyn Bryan

Gleaner Writer

The St Thomas police continue to make headway in tackling car thieves in the parish, with a major operation recovering several motor vehicles and auto parts on a remote farm in Wilmington on Tuesday. Nine vehicles, including six Toyota Hiace buses and three Toyota Corolla motor cars, and an assortment of motor vehicle parts were recovered. The total value of the stolen items is estimated at over $18 million.

The police believe the vehicles were stolen by a ring that operates primarily in the eastern part of the parish. Several vehicles, mostly Toyota Corollas, were stolen in the Lyssons area in September last year, prompting the police to increase their patrols there.

investigations

Deputy Superintendent Beresford Williams of the St Thomas police confirmed that no suspects had been identified in the most recent seizure, but police investigations were continuing, with efforts being made to make contact with the owner of the farm.

"The house on the property is unoccupied and the owner is overseas. We have not been able to speak with him at this time," Williams said.

The farm is located in an isolated region, several miles away from the nearest community and is poorly lit by street lights.

Deputy Superintendent Williams told The Sunday Gleaner that the Criminal Investigations Department would be meeting to determine a strategy to combat car theft in St Thomas ... . "We will continue to be vigilant and to patrol areas that have a high report of stolen vehicles," he said.

Motor vehicles owners are being urged to secure their vehicles with kill switches, anti-theft and tracking devices.

securing your vehicles

"There have been instances of thieves driving around with car owners to ensure the cars won't shut down, and there are criminals who are tech-savvy and can disable them, but they are the first line of defence. So I would urge car owners to make the investment," Williams said.

Motor vehicle owners can also secure their vehicles by parking in well-lit areas, ensuring that all the doors are locked, and locks are in proper working condition, keeping their valuables out of sight, and taking their car documents with them when they leave the vehicle. Motorists are also being urged to make a report to the police promptly in the event that their vehicle is stolen.

Contributed

The Toyota Corolla, one of the vehicles targeted by criminals in St Thomas.