Concern over rampant cases of lorry theft
BINTULU: More than 10 lorries had been reported stolen here this month which have yet to be recovered by their owners.
The chairman of Bintulu Lorry Operators’ Association Robert Chiew yesterday expressed his concern over the cases which was the worst ever in just a month.
“I believe there are many lorry operators and owners out there who experience the same problem as our association’s members. We incurred great losses due to this issue and yet there is still no light at the end of the tunnel,” he said after a meeting with its members, who were the victims, yesterday.
Chiew urged the police to beef up their investigation efforts on the cases as more lorries were being stolen each day even from the owners’ workshops.
“Less resources on the police side to speed up investigation on these cases is no excuse, and if possible, bring in a team from Bukit Aman to work together in solving the cases, which we think are quite serious lately,” he added.
He said if this problem continued, the operators would be scared and feel insecure.We believe this syndicate is the mastermind of a group of professionals who know what they are doing.
“They don’t need a key to start the engine, and they even know how to locate and remove the Global Positioning System (GPS) installed in the units. These are professionals probably mechanics,” Chiew said, adding that there must be somebody behind all the cases which usually targeted the Nissan prime mover model.
Each unit, he said, costs around RM170,000.
The lorries were stolen from the compound of the owners’ workshop around 1am.
There was only one case where a lorry was stolen earlier but recovered last Friday. This was due to the owner’s prompt action and not due to its GPS system, as it had been removed and disconnected at the Kemena River.
Suspecting that the lorry may be heading towards Sibu, the owner made a few calls to his friends to block suspicious looking vehicles and keeping an eye on any vehicle from Bintulu.
It was later found parked near Selangau in Sibu not far from Stapang area where one of the suspects was caught by the police.
“So even if we install a GPS system, these people know what they are doing. In this case, the GPS were removed around 3.20am at Kemena River. If we are late to trace its position, there will be little chance to get the vehicle back, unless we immediately instructed for roadblocks,” said Chiew.
He added many aspects needed to be enhanced to further strengthen the security measures and hoped the police will look into the cases seriously.
Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Senator Datuk Pau Chiong Ung had been informed of the incidents and he hoped to get everyone’s cooperation to put an end to the problem.
In another related issue, Chiew said they encountered almost the same problem every day when the batteries of their vehicles and even the spare tyres were stolen by thieves. It usually happened during weekends within the vicinity of their workshops.