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March 7, 2020

The problem of losing vehicles to auto thieves

Peshawar

March 7, 2020

MARDAN: At the crack of dawn, Member National Assembly (MNA) Uzma Khan Jadoon had offered Fajr prayer when she received a text message that her vehicle had just crossed Ismailia Toll Plaza on the Motorway.

Soon afterwards, Ms Jadoon and her husband had a look in the garage where they came to know that their car had been lifted by unidentified thieves. She said at that moment, she realised that they had forgotten to lock the door of their house at night.

“At first, I reported the matter to the police but kept the incident in low profile for three days. However, later I approached Mardan Police which recovered my vehicle after conducting raids,” she told The News. She said that she appreciated the KP Police, particularly District Police Officer Sajjad Khan, who took a keen interest in the case and not only recovered her car but also another 21 during the operation in which a gang of car lifters was busted.

Qasur Shah faced a similar mishap when his car was stopped by gunmen in Vehari district of Punjab. The thieves snatched his car and some documents placed in it in October 2012. “The gunmen were pointing the pistols at us, so we let them take the car,” he added. He said that after the car was recovered by Mardan Police, he came to know that a duplicate copy of his car’s documents had been made after its theft,” Qasur Shah recalled. He added that he even met the excise officials and protested as to how duplicate documents were made in his (owner’s) absence.

The Mardan Police set up the Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) in January 2019. Speaking to The News, District Police Officer Sajjad Khan said that since the start of the year 2020, the Mardan ACLC had recovered 25 vehicles stolen from various parts of the country.

“Using the modern technology of vehicle verification system, we have computerised 10-year old record of the Anti-Car Lifting Cell in Mardan district, for which we also have set up a computer cell in the DPO offices,” he added.

He said that during investigations, the police came to know that mostly the cars parked in unguarded places were stolen. “Auto thieves use master keys. Some lifters initially park the vehicle in a nearby safe place soon after lifting it and then move it to another place once the police movement is over,” he added. He said that since the establishment of ACLC, they have recovered 230 vehicles, including 192 that were lifted from Punjab, 14 from Islamabad, three from Sindh, four from KP and 12 tempered vehicles.

He added that 146 vehicles recovered by the ACLC have been handed over to their owners while the rest would be delivered once the cases are resolved.