Lawmen are investigating a series of car thefts with the aim of finding out whether there is a racket involving the scrapping of vehicles for parts to sell to unscrupulous dealers.
Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch has confirmed that lawmen have received several reports of Toyota Corolla vehicles being stolen.
“We have heard people say it is a racket and we are investigating those cases but we can’t say that any such racket exists at this stage. But we will inform the public in due course,” he told Barbados TODAY.
One victim, who is convinced that there is an organized ring, reported that he is just over $10,000 out of pocket after his AE 100 Toyota Corolla and tools were stolen from a car park, a mere 150 yards from his Mount Standfast, St James home, earlier this month. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the self-employed air conditioning and refrigeration technician said that in taking his toolkit, the culprits had robbed him of his livelihood.
He told Barbados TODAY that he had been informed that his car was the third Corolla stolen that week and at least one police officer had indicated he was aware of the trend.
“There seems to be a well organised racket with ‘fences’ waiting to take stolen cars which are later stripped of their parts. I would think that if the cars are presented for registration or insurance a check should be made of the chassis number and the engine number. If both numbers are deleted this should raise a red flag for the Licensing Authority and the Insurance company,” the father of three schoolchildren said.
“In this technological age when information can be retrieved with the press of a button, these criminals should not be allowed to rob poor, law-abiding persons.
“However, it may be a case where the car was stripped and then dumped in some isolated location.”
Inspector Welch said lawmen at the Holetown Police Station were investigating the St James resident’s report.