There’s some good news and some bad news coming out of Karachi’s ACLC (Anti-car lifting cell) unit. Bad news is that car thieves of Karachi prefer or rather in the words of ACLC Chief, ‘If you own a white Suzuki Mehran, you have got exactly what Karachi’s vehicle snatchers are looking for.’ So the poor again are helpless and exploited, but unsurprisingly, the car thieves will also make-do with Corollas, Hi-Roofs, Suzuki Altos and Daihatsu Cuores in white, silver, grey, blue, black and red.
Good news though is, vehicle snatching is down by 57 percent this as only 2,600 cases were reported this year while 4,497 cases were report during the same period last year (2013). According to ACLC Chief, SSP Irfan Ali Bahadur, the average of vehicles stolen in a day has fallen from 13-14 vehicles to just 9-10 now.
Moreover, the recovery rate of snatched/stolen vehicles has also improved significantly; 1,450 snatched four-wheelers and 3,185 motorcycles were recovered, bringing the recovery rate up from just 44 percent to 53 percent.
ACLC Chief also highlighted the most popular/common timings, areas and days when vehicle snatchers do most of their thefts. The areas where most of the vehicle snatched were reported from: Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Sharea Faisal, Taimuria, Shahrah-e-Noor Jehan, Ferozabad, Hyderi Market, Aziz Bhatti, Nazimabad, Darakhshan, Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Defence. Whereas most common area where motorcycles were snatched from were: Nazimabad, Shara-e-Faisal, Korangi Industrial Area, Kharadar, Preedy, Azizabad, Arambagh, Jamshed Quarters, Soldier Bazaar, Gulshan and Surjani Town.
The most popular days when vehicles are snatched are weekends; Friday, Saturday and Sunday while the timings are morning and evening and oddly, very few cases of vehicle snatching are reported after mid-night as opposed to popular opinion, your car is most safe to drive during mid-night.
ACLC also set up camps in such markets so that buyers are not sold stolen vehicles, the biggest sunday bazaars of used vehicles is in Korangi and New Karachi. The staff at the camps checks vehicles to make sure the chassis wasn’t tampered and the documents as well for authenticity.
Even though ACLC currently operates at a strength of just 395 policemen against its allotted strength of 853, ACLC has though reactivated its helpline 1132 for public’s support.