Thu, 11 Mar 1999

Stolen cars displayed at city police headquarters

JAKARTA (JP): City police are inviting residents who are recent victims of car thefts to examine 21 vehicles displayed at police headquarters on Jl. Sudirman in South Jakarta.

Chief of the city police detective unit Col. Alex Bambang Riatmojo said on Tuesday that the stolen cars were recovered from 11 criminals during the last two weeks.

Alex declined to divulge information regarding the operations in which the vehicles were seized but said the cars were repossessed in separate raids.

"Preliminary investigations show that the thieves worked in groups, using various methods and moved from one area to another."

The thieves used substitute keys to break in to vehicles, Alex said.

Car rental businesses were also targeted by the thieves. The criminals submitted fake identification cards, rented the cars and failed to return them, Alex said.

Based on a confession from one suspect three of his accomplices remain at large.

Amin Salim, 25, admitted cars were sold far below market price and came equipped with forged vehicle documents.

"We sell the latest model Kijang van, for example, for between Rp 21 million (US$2.470) and Rp 30 million and a Lancer sedan for between Rp 50 million and Rp 100 million."

The prices were approximately half the price of second hand cars sold from official showrooms. One showroom offered a Lancer for Rp 154 million.

The 21 stolen cars, parked in front of the city police detective unit's compound include Timor, Mitsubishi Lancer and Honda Cielo sedans.

Officers arrested a man, identified as Herman Gkarisu, for allegedly stealing side mirrors from an Opel Blazer car, one of the stolen vehicles at headquarters, Alex said.

"The suspect is still being questioned. He was caught trying to take the side mirrors while his girl friend waited in his car."

Alex said Herman admitted to police that he had stolen side mirrors from the seized cars several times to sell at Tanah Abang market in Central Jakarta. (emf)