The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has embarked on an operation to target carjackers and will now zoom in on bodywork shops since they are suspected of buying the parts from these hijacked vehicles.
Acting Crime Chief Paul Williams said in light of the regular occurrences of carjacking, he and other officers, including Acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine, recently had a discussion and some strategies were put in place.
Williams said that while the police have not yet confirmed that a gang is in operation, a campaign has been launched to tackle the crime. “We have some serious campaigns that we will go after persons who have bodywork shops,” Williams said.
The Acting Crime Chief said that the police force is collaborating with several other agencies, and the owners will now have to meet certain requirements before they can operate the workshops. “We are going with an inter-agency approach in terms of checking with these persons and they will have to get certain requirements,” he said.
He explained that when these vehicles are hijacked and can’t be located, the bodywork shop operators will be summoned.
“What we have recognized too, is that the cars that are being hijacked or stolen now, are the cars that find themselves outside of the GRA (Guyana Revenue Authority) stipulated requirement,” Williams noted. As such, Williams said that it has been observed that the car thieves are targeting cars that are no longer imported into the country and have been stripping them for parts, which they sell.
In recent times, there has been a rise in hijacking cases. In most of the cases, the victims have been injured and also robbed of other valuables.
In the past, the Guyana Police Force has warned the public, specifically taxi drivers operating the Toyota Allion and Toyota Premio models, to be on the alert for potential hijackers.
The mode of committing the crime, the police have observed, is to hire cabs around George-town and en route to destinations such as North Ruimveldt, Georgetown; Atlantic Ville, East Coast Demerara; Providence, East Bank Demerara, and West Demerara where they would rob the drivers of their personal belongings and their taxis upon arrival at the requested destinations.
Only a few of the hijackers have been held and many of the cars remain missing.