NEWS

Fiji Police Not Ruling Out Possibility Of Car Parts Theft Racket

Christina Gohil, the vehicle owner, said someone managed to open the hood from the bottom and remove the airflow filter.
27 Jun 2019 11:00
Fiji Police Not Ruling Out Possibility Of Car Parts Theft Racket
The vehicle claimed to be owned by suspect, abandoned at Pender Street in Suva on June 25, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Police have not ruled out the possibility of the existence of a racket where cars are being stolen and stripped for parts.

This comes after a car was stolen from Caubati in Nasinu on Tuesday night, which remained missing when this edition went to press.

On Sunday, an airflow filter had been removed from a Toyota Fielder that was parked along Pender Street in Suva.

Christina Gohil, the vehicle owner, said someone managed to open the hood from the bottom and remove the airflow filter.

She had given the car keys to her brother to take her son to town, but when he could not start the vehicle, he opened the hood and found the filter missing.

They saw a man standing behind a Toyota Corolla Sedan not far and when they gave chase, the man ran away.

They later found out that the man lives in Caubati.

On Tuesday night, Pranil Sharma went to visit a friend at a squatter settlement in Caubati and parked his Toyota Corolla car registration EQ262, by the road.

Mr Sharma said he could not take the car to his friend’s place because there was no space to park.

“The car was parked some distance from my friend’s house and when I went back, the car was missing. It happened between 8pm to 10pm,” he said.

“There seems to be a racket because Toyota Corolla is a common vehicle and it’s hard to get parts.

“It’s even hard to get parts for a Toyota Fielder. Even if you do find it, it’s very expensive.

“So definitely there seems to be a connection between the case in Pender Street and the theft of my vehicle.”

Mr Sharma said he had reported the matter at the Valelevu Police Station and he was called again by the officers to give his statement yesterday.

He said the car was light grey in colour.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed the theft of the Toyota Corolla from Caubati on Tuesday night.

Ms Naisoro said yesterday that they had not found the car and no arrests made yet as investigations continue.

On the possibility of a racket existing where cars are stolen and stripped for parts, she said: “We cannot rule out the possibility of a racket.

“We made arrests before for such cases. There was a case in Nausori and one in Valelevu and the cars were later found stripped.

“We can’t say whether or not this latest one is part of a racket but we can’t rule out the possibility of the existence of a racket.”

Police is calling on the public to come forward with any information they may have that could help them locate the stolen car and the suspect.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

Feedback: avinesh.gopal@fijisun.com.fj

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