During the past three and a half years, 1,117 vehicles were reported stolen in Cyprus of which 594 were located by police, according to stats obtained by the Cyprus Mail.
The largest number of stolen vehicles was reported in Limassol, followed by Nicosia, Larnaca and Paphos, respectively.
During the period, there had been a steady decrease however.
According to the data, 405 vehicles were stolen in 2014 of which 197 were found by police, whereas in 2015, some 321 vehicles were stolen and 157 found.
In 2016, 306 were reported stolen and 188 found. During the first months of 2017, some 85 vehicles were stolen and 52 were located.
Police spokesman, Andreas Angelides, told the Cyprus Mail that the steady decrease is due to the development of new technology and the various advance systems which are now available to the police, as well as the public information campaigns.
“When a vehicle theft is reported, all patrol cars are immediately informed. Apart from this, we also have the new ANPR detecting system, which automatically updates our systems. So, when a vehicle is scanned by ANPR, it immediately shows if it was reported missing or stolen,” Angelides said.
He also noted that people are now more aware than they were in the past in terms of securing their property, although there are still some issues and measures that need to be taken.
“When a citizen becomes aware of the theft of his/her vehicle, he/she should immediately report it to the police by calling at 1460 before going to the Police station to testify, as this will give us the opportunity to act in time.”
Moreover, Angelides added that in many cases, stolen cars are taken and sold in the north, or, even worse, used in criminal acts.
Ιnvestigations in the north are done through the bicommunal technical committee on crime and criminal matters.
“Another issue that concerns the police, is to prevent the use of stolen vehicles in criminal acts. There have been many cases where stolen cars were used in theft or burglary offences and, in some cases, found later burned,” he concluded.