Records at the Criminals Investigations Directorate (CID) indicate that on average 4,000 motorcycles are stolen every year in Uganda.
The directorate indicates that 13,120 motorcycles have been stolen between 2019 and 2017.
Data shows 2018 had the biggest number of motorcycle thefts with 4,612, followed by 2017 which recorded 4,259 cases while 2019 4,249 were stolen.
Grace Akullo, the CID director in her report analysing the most common cases recorded every year, shows some motorcycles are stolen by use of weapons which translates into aggravated robbery while others are stolen while parked outside places of entertainment, churches or shopping venues.
Aggravated robbery, according to CID, is where lethal weapons such as guns, machetes, knives, clubs or iron bars are used to subdue the owner of the items being stolen.
CID cities criminal gangs to be masterminding theft and robbery of motorcycles.
Among the criminal gangs cited in latest report is one based in Orubare cell, in Ntungamo Municipality’s central division which used to move on motorcycles UEP 705S, UEX 653G and UEL 395W targeting lonely riders from place to another.
“These motorcycles were used as means of transport by the robbers recovered. We recovered facial masks, two laptop bags suspected to have been used to carry the guns and two mobile phones,” said Akullo.
Motorcycle thefts have remained high according to CID because it is a lucrative business where culprits have ready market in most parts of the country. Police says thugs sell stolen motorcycles to spare parts dealers in urban areas but also have buyers in remote areas that prefer cheap items.
In Kampala, police names Katwe, Kibuye and Ndeeba as the leading places where stolen motorcycles are sold.
In order to reduce motorcycle thefts, CID explains that they are increasing joint operations targeting dealers in stolen motorcycle spare parts and criminal gangs.
Police in collaboration with Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Local Defence Units (LDUs) and Military Police raided motorcycle shops and spare parts dealers where more than 200 people were arrested in October last year.
Luke Owoyesigyire, the Deputy Kampala police spokesperson, says some motorcycles are being sold to people after their number plates have been forged including logbooks.
Owoyesigyire said the forgery of motorcycle number plates is being spearheaded by some people working with one of the government agencies and are currently being hunted.
Thugs, according to police sell motorcycles between Shs 200,000 to Shs 1 million.
A fortnight ago, Umar Kiggundu, a crime preventer was arrested from Wandegeya on allegations of stealing motorcycle registration number UEE 620R that was parked outside Jinja Road Police Post. Kiggundu had allegedly sold the motorcycle at Shs 100,000.