While it is commonly perceived by the public that old model vehicles are less targeted by car thieves, the police say this is not the case. In fact, older cars are “hot items” among criminals at the moment, reports Bernama.

Speaking to the publication, Cheras district police chief ACP Mohamed Mokhsein Mohamed Zon said old locally made car models are the “preferred” choice of criminals because of their spare parts. Referring to statistics by the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia (VTREC), the Proton Wira topped the Q3 2019 Industry Vehicle Theft Statistics, followed by the Iswara and Toyota Hilux.

It isn’t just parts that attract criminals to older cars, as the opportunity to steal them often presented itself. According to Mohamed Mokhsein, there are 1.33 million people in Cheras and there are some areas that do not have proper parking, so they have to park their vehicles outside the gates and in areas with no security guards.

VTREC Q3 2019 Industry Vehicle Theft Statistics

“This provides an opportunity and space for criminals to steal vehicles using rulers and such, and this does not require high-tech equipment. I want the community to change their perception that old model vehicles will not be stolen because we have received many such cases,” he told Bernama.

However, Mohamed Mokhsein said luxury vehicles were also targeted by criminals due to their wider market “appeal,” including overseas. According to him, a total of 132 car theft and 264 motorcycle theft cases were reported in the period from January until July 25 this year, with 27 people arrested. During the same period last year, the number of cases reported was 366 for car thefts and 562 for motorcycle thefts.

He added those arrested for stealing vehicles were typically aged between 14 and 51 years old, with some of them having previous criminal records for committing the same crime. “Various preventive measures have been taken, including reminding the residents in this area to be more vigilant as well as suggesting a suitable area to park vehicles,” said Mohamed Mokhsein.