There was excitement at Naguru police headquarters as Flying Squad started handing over more than 40 motor vehicles recently recovered in operations against car theft.
Some of the people whose cars have been recovered were seen wiping tears of joy while others including men were prevented from kneeling before police officers to express their gratitude for the recovery of their vehicles.
Alex Ssempiira, whose taxi UBA 920Q was handed back to him could not hold back his excitement and quickly shook hands with Senior Commissioner of Police Fred Enanga, praising the police for doing what he termed as ‘excellent’ service.
Ssempiira said his vehicle was stolen from its driver in Misindye, Mukono municipality. The driver was attending a birthday party at around 11pm. A case of the stolen vehicle was opened at Mukono police station and a hunt using Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras was launched.
However, Ssempiira explained that the vehicle could be seen by some cameras and others would not see it. For instance, if a single camera in Kira saw it, it could not be seen by any other cameras not until after some time when it could be seen by another in a very distant place. Police say these are tricks criminals use to avoid being seen by CCTV cameras as they keep switching number plates.
Asuman Talisuna said he had parked in a public space when his vehicle was taken by people who claimed to be security operatives. Talisuna opened a case at Bugembe police in Jinja and he was later informed it was in Kampala. He followed up with police and until he was told it had been recovered and parked at Naguru police headquarters.
The vehicles that were handed over include Spacio UAX 578M whose number plate had been changed to UAU 411G and was stolen from Seeta, Mukono district. A Toyota Noah UAP 778G was turned to UAM 933G, Toyota Regius UAN 093Q had been turned into UAN 706R, while Isuzu UBH 853P had been changed into UBA 784U.
Enanga said before they resolved to hand over the cars to the owners, they first asked for documents like logbooks which they verified with Uganda Revenue Authority. Apart from changing number plates, the robbers had altered the engine and chassis numbers which needed URA expertise to get the original details.
Other vehicles that have been recovered include Subaru, Sienta, Premio, Canter, Breakdown, Hilux, Mark II, Noah, Regius and Rav 4. Enanga has advised the public to always install security devices in the gear lever, steering and pedals.