The lack of movement that came with the control orders last year may have had something to do with it, but whatever it was, fewer vehicles were reported stolen last year compared to 2019, The Star reports.

According to the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia (VTREC), an average of 20 vehicles were reported stolen on a daily basis in 2020, down from an average of 32 vehicles the year before, which represented a 37% reduction in cases.

The council’s coordinator, Mas Tina Abdul Hamid, said 7,400 cases were reported last year compared to 11,675 cases in 2019. Motorcycles made up 54% of the stolen vehicles, while private cars accounted for 40% and commercial vehicles 6% of last year’s total.

“According to statistics from Insurance Services Malaysia, 3,993 motorcycles, 2,981 private cars and 426 commercial vehicles were stolen last year,” she said during the soft launch of this year’s Vehicle Theft Public Awareness Campaign yesterday.

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For cars, as it has been for quite a while now, the Proton Wira was top of the list again as the most stolen model, primarily for cannibalisation of parts. In 2016, it had the dubious honour of being the car that was nicked the most, and that trend has continued. However, the number of Wiras reported stolen are dropping, with 353 units reported last year, down from the 1,214 reported in 2016 and 654 in 2017.

Most of the models in the top 10 most stolen list remain familiar. The Proton Iswara was the second-most stolen vehicle model last year, followed by the Toyota Hilux, Perodua Myvi, Perodua Kancil, Proton Saga, Proton Waja, Honda Civic, Honda City and Toyota Vellfire.

Despite the drop in the number of vehicle thefts, the police say that the fight against such crimes remains constant. Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Bukit Aman CID (intelligence/operations) deputy director DCP Datuk Dev Kumar said every year, car theft syndicates would change their modus operandi and use increasingly sophisticated gadgets to steal cars.

He said that based on police observations, local cars that were stolen were cannibalised for parts while foreign-made vehicles would be shipped to buyers overseas. He reminded the public to remain vigilant and take measures to secure their vehicle as best possible against theft.

“Having additional security measures, such as steering and pedal locks as well as dashboard cameras, can act as a deterrent. While we are constantly taking action against such syndicates, the public must also do their part and not provide easy opportunities that thieves can take advantage of,” he explained.

Formed in 2007, VTREC is a non-profit joint venture between the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM), the police and a number of other government and non-government agencies. The organsisation aims to raise awareness about the dangers of vehicle theft and how to prevent such occurrences from happening, and its Vehicle Theft Awareness Campaign is a regular affair.