The Uganda Police Force has at long last admitted its failure to burst a racket of criminals that steal car number plates. The police are now advising motor vehicles that park their cars in open-air parking lots at night, to remove their number plates before going to sleep and put them back in the morning to avoid them being stolen.
Police spokesman Fred Enanga told a tri-weekly security briefing at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala the police had concluded that removing the car number plates is the only way to foil the practice that has recently gained moment.
After stealing the number plates, the thieves usually leave a chit on the cars with a telephone contact to which they instruct the car owner to deposit a given amount of money – in most cases over Shs 100,000 if they want to get their number plates back.
Enanga said although it might be cumbersome to put and then remove number plates daily, it is better than going through the process of replacing them when stolen.
Enanga’s advice follows the recovery of 11 number plates stolen from different parts of Kitende village in Kajjansi Town Council Wakiso district by a one Felix Mwebesa. “The recovery followed a tip-off by residents who suspected Mwebesa to be part of a criminal gang involved in theft of car number plates,” said Enanga.
Some of the numbers recovered include UAN 852B, UBF 211J, UBF 603Q, UBA 6250, UAV 379X, UBA 984K, UBC 577D, UAK 401H, UAU 223L and UAU 767J. Mwebesa is detained at Kajjansi police station as investigations into the matter continue. Enanga called upon all the owners of those cars whose number plates were stolen to go to Kajjansi Police Station to claim them.
Meanwhile, police revealed that last week they arrested 170 people for violating different directives on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 18 vehicles and 101 motorcycles were impounded after their owners were found moving past curfew hours or carrying passengers contrary to exiting guidelines.
“The public continues to flout government directives put in place to curb the spread of Coronavirus. This is partly due to ignorance of the fatality of the pandemic,” said Enanga.