Two people suspected to be the ringleader of car theft racket of over 30 vehicles have been arrested in an operation led by the Flying Squad Unit.
The Flying Squad Unit Commander, Godwin Turamye in collaboration with Criminal Investigation Directorate – CID launched a hunt after receiving over 20 complaints about car thefts whose modus operandi was almost similar. CID spokesperson Charles Twine said that almost in all complainants, Hussein Kiseka and one Habibu were being mentioned.
Twine added that FSU and CID decided to launch a hunt for the two suspects who have since been arrested. The duo has accomplices in areas of Kampala, Mbarara, Busia and Tororo.
During investigations, detectives noticed that Kiseka and Habibu have often hoodwinked unsuspecting Emcees at events to announce motor vehicles that have allegedly obstructed other drivers.
Police say when the owners rush to remove their cars, thugs grab them without other people’s knowledge. The owner of the car is usually forced to drive it, sedated and dumped in isolated places.
Police records on motor vehicle thefts and robberies in the country show that on average, 700 cars are stolen or robbed in Kampala alone each year. CID figures for 2019, 2018 and 2017 show a total of 2,413 vehicles stolen in Kampala and its neighbouring districts of Wakiso and Mukono.
“Once a car is stolen, they quickly put a disguised number plate on it. This becomes difficult for CCTV cameras because they will record the fake number plate placed on it. It takes a lot of time and investigation to establish particulars of a car that has been altered,” a detective said.
Twine agrees with detectives that robbers have number plates of vehicles that were written off after they were involved in crashes. In one of the cases, Kiseka and Habibu were involved, a vehicle of model 2007 was found with several models of 1998.
In Kampala, the Southern regional policing area that covers Katwe, Nateete, Kajjansi, Entebbe, records 250 cases of car thefts per year. This is followed by North that includes Kawempe, Nabweru, Nansana, Kakiri with at least 230 cases every year whereas Kampala East that includes Jinja Road, Kiira Division, Kireka, Bweyogerere, Mukono, Naggalama registers 190 on average.