KARACHI, July 16: A sharp rise of 10.7 per cent in carjacking and 12 per cent in motorcycle snatching or theft incidents during the first half of the current year in the city has been recorded compared with the figures of the last six months of the year 2005.

Statistics provided by the CPLC showed that a total of 2,272 vehicles (four-wheelers) were either snatched or stolen from different parts of the city during the first half of 2006, whereas 2,051 vehicles were taken away by bandits during the period of last six months of year 2005.

Similarly, 3,245 motorcycles were either snatched or stolen from the city during the first half of the current year, compared to 2,883 motorcycles taken away during the later half of the previous year, the data showed.

Sources in the police department attributed this steep rise to the dismantling disband of two police check posts at Super Highway and National Highway for around two months. Sources said an order for de-manning the two posts was made by a senior government functionary.

The city of Karachi has 110 exit/entry points, but only three of them – at Hub River Road, Super Highway and National Highway – are manned.

Experts of vehicle-theft detection said that out of the 110 exit/entry points, only 27 are less frequently used whereas the remaining 83 are regarded as ‘active routes’ for vehicles transportation.

The Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC), which was made a specialised wing of police dealing with the investigation pertaining to car-theft, has a sanctioned strength of 842 whereas they have the available strength of only 450 policemen.

Tough investigation is their primary task, but when it comes to VVIP duties, ACLC police are not spared.

With the meagre available strength, ACLC police are also carrying out crime prevention duties by conducting snap checking.

A former SSP of the ACLC said that a major setback in the department’s performance is the lack of coordination between the district police and the ACLC.

According to the statistics provided by the CPLC, 629 vehicles were snatched at gunpoint while 1,643 vehicles were stolen during the first six months of 2006. The data showed a recovery rate of 47.89 per cent for the mentioned period.

In the second half of 2005, 737 vehicles were snatched at gunpoint and 1,314 were stolen.

The statistics showed Gulshan-i-Iqbal on top among the high risk areas from where 958 cars were taken away during January to June 2006. The next comes Clifton with 612 cars followed by Jamshed 590, Saddar 482 and North Nazimabad 441 cars.

However, statistics pertaining to motorcycles (or two wheelers), showed that Saddar topped the list with 1,170 motorcycles lost to the bandits, followed by Gulshan-i-Iqbal 659, Jamshed 538, New Karachi 504 and North Nazimabad 481 motorcycles.

An analysis of the carjacking incidents during the month of June showed that Suzuki was the most favourite car of bandits or thieves as 333 of the vehicles were Suzukis. It was followed by Toyota 28, Honda 27, Charade 12, Hilux 3 and Pajero 2. Nine taxis and 61 other vehicles were lost in the month.

Similarly, white-colour proved to be favourite colour of the carjackers as 216 cars of this colour were taken away in the June. Among the other, 44 were grey, 23 red, 35 blue, 17 black, 12 green and three yellow cabs.

Analysis of the days during which most cars were taken away showed that during the month of June, 76 cars were taken away on Tuesdays, 72 cars on Thursdays, 69 on Fridays, 66 on Saturdays, 65 on Sundays and 61 on Mondays.

Similarly, 133 cars were taken away in the first week of June, 111 in the second week 104 in the third week and 100 in the fourth week, the CPLC statistics showed.

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