- 102 cars have been stolen in the last 3 months
- Around 20 gangs are active in Dhaka
- The gangs sell a stolen motorbike for Tk20,000-30,000, car for Tk2.5 lakh
- Experts advise the use of vehicle tracers to reduce theft
The activities of various car theft gangs – who steal cars by duplicating master keys – have increased at an alarming rate in different areas of Dhaka city. The gangs steal at least 25 cars per month and the number has risen in recent days.
Law enforcement agencies said a lack of punishment for miscreants and the weak security systems of cars are responsible for the growing numbers of thefts.
They recommended owners use vehicle tracers and digital number plates to prevent their cars from being stolen.
According to the crime data of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), 102 cases have been filed at police stations over car theft in the last three month. Twenty-three cars were stolen in July while 30 cars were stolen in August. In September, the gangs stole 49 cars.
Sources at the Detective Branch (DB) of police said around 20 car theft gangs are active in the capital and they steal 20-25 cars every month.
Recently, instances of car theft have increased alarmingly. In some cases, after a gang has stolen a car, it asks for money from the car's owner.
DB sources said, generally, the gangs demand Tk2-3 lakh per car from owners. But the amount of money depends on the quality and the condition of the vehicle.
If the owner of the car fails to pay according to their demands, the gangs dismantle the cars and sell them for parts to car mechanics, the sources added.
Additionally, the gangs sell a motorbike for Tk20,000- 30,000. After stealing a bike, they send it to village areas outside Dhaka city.
The sources said the gangs target cars that are parked at shopping malls, banks and on streets. Old car models, CNGs and motorbikes are the main targets of the gangs.
After targeting a car, the gang members form a good relationship with the driver and then tactically take pictures of the driver's keys. Based on the picture, the gang members make duplicate master keys and steal the car.
Recently, the detective branch arrested four members of a gang in the capital. The gang made at least 11 master keys to steal a car. After stealing the car, the gang demanded Tk3 lakh to return the car to its owner.
When the owner failed to pay money, the gang members sold the expensive parts of the car. Finally, the DB members recovered the car in Savar.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police has taken the matter seriously. High officials of DMP discussed the matter at the last crime conference. They said they will take some initiatives to reduce car theft.
The DMP wants to make GPS mandatory for every car. Further, police will also install CCTV cameras in different points of the city to bring them under strict surveillance.
Though data shows an increase in the number of stolen cars in the city in recent days, DMP's Joint Commissioner (crime) Md Shah Abid Hossain said car theft has reduced. He also said that the incidents of recovering stolen cars have increased.
According to police sources, the car theft gangs are most active in areas like Mirpur, Badda, Uttara, Matikata, Mohammadpur, Shamoyli, Shahbag, Midford, and Kamrangichor.
The prominent gangs that are active in these areas are led by Sagor, Rahul, Tipu, Roni, Kana Shahid, Babul, Oli, Mujibor, Solim, Nazrul, Illius, Shamim, choto Jamal, and Rafiqul Islam.