PROTON HOT WITH THIEVES
Models such as Wira, Waja list high in police stolen car figures
Friday, December 4th, 2009 11:52:00
KUALA LUMPUR: Proton cars continue to hold the unenviable record of being the most sought-after vehicle by thieves in 2009 — a "record" it has held since 2005.
Statistics released by the police to The Malay Mail revealed that 5,920 Proton cars were stolen between January and October.
The Proton Wira, with 1,568 units stolen during that period, topped the list. The other two "hot" Proton models were the Waja, which saw 1,001 units stolen, and the Perdana, with 255 thefts Perodua, the other national car maker, was placed third in the list of most stolen vehicles during the same period with 1,509 cases.
The Kancil, which had stopped production since July, had 961 units stolen, topping the list in the Perodua stable. Other "popular" cars in the group were the Kenari (319 thefts) and the Myvi (229). (see chart for Top 5 list of most stolen cars).
Police believe the high demand for spare parts in the black market is the main reason for the large number of local cars being stolen. There is a more sinister reason for this: police also believe these the cars are being used in criminal activities.
It is learnt that the ubiquity of the local cars make them ideal targets for criminal activities. Federal Police Statistics and Anti-Car Theft Department head SAC II Chee Cheng Wan said the high theft rate of local cars was hardly surprising as these far outnumbered other makes on Malaysian roads.
"The majority of Malaysians drive local cars and thus, demand for spare parts is high. Stolen local cars are more often than cannibalised for parts," Chee said.
The items up for re-sale range from engines, to doors, hoods and even airbags. Perodua and Proton collectively control about 60 per cent of the car market in Malaysia.
The Malay Mail had on Nov 9 reported a growing number of Myvi airbags being stolen. This safety device, which forms the most expensive part of the Myvi's cabin, fetches up to RM1,000 in the black market, against the RM5,000 price tag for a pair from the manufacturer.
More than 50 cases of Myvi thefts were recorded in the Sentul district alone this year. The problem, Perodua admitted, stemmed from a flaw in the car's alarm system. Following the report, Perodua said it would conduct a field-fix operation for Myvi alarm systems, free of charge, from next month.