Syndicates behind vehicle thefts

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By Kotie Geldenhuys 

Many of us have experienced the unfortunate event of having our vehicle stolen. Picture yourself leaving a building, only to find that your parked vehicle has mysteriously vanished within minutes. The array of emotions and the subsequent difficulties of reporting the theft and initiating an insurance claim linger vividly in many victims’ minds.

Vehicle theft has evolved over the years as organised crime groups have become more involved in this illegal activity. While opportunistic thefts still occur, especially in cases of unlocked or easily accessible vehicles, organised crime has taken advantage of advanced technology and sophisticated methods to steal vehicles for various purposes. These include to use them in the commissioning of other crimes such as cash-in-transit (CIT) heists – both to ram the cash vehicle and as getaway vehicles – and to transport drugs, weapons or other illicit goods. The organised theft of vehicles is an immediate concern to an individual owner, but it also carries financial ramifications for insurance companies (INTERPOL, 2023a).

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[This is only an extract of an article that is published in Servamus: February 2024. This article is available for purchase.]

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