Kristjan Tommingas, head of the Anti-Drug and Organized Crime Service of the Lõuna Police Prefecture, said that despite the arrest of Lithuanian citizens who were caught stealing cars in Tartu County in September, Lexus and Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs continue to be hijacked in South Estonia. “Until now, criminals were interested in 2018-2022 SUVs. In the last month alone, several Land Cruisers and Lexus SUVs have been stolen from different parts of South Estonia, and another Lexus SUV has also been attempted to be stolen. All these events took place under the cover of night,” said Tommingas.
The police opened a criminal case to investigate all these thefts. “The data collected so far gives the police grounds to once again suspect the hijackers from Lithuania of committing these crimes,” says Tommingas.
Tommingas added that crime police officers are actively working to prevent car thefts and catch car thieves, but people can also do a lot to protect their vehicles. “First of all, we ask all owners of SUVs of this particular brand, as well as all other members of the society, to be vigilant and report to the police if they notice suspicious movements or strangers and cars near their homes,” the policeman says.
According to him, the criminals, and these are men aged 20-40, can travel in ten-year-old cars with British or Lithuanian numbers. “It is also known that criminals carry out preliminary work and therefore can, at night, both on foot and on electric scooters, move to various places where Lexus and Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs are parked. They can hide their faces either with a mask or some other piece of clothing,” Tommingas listed dangerous signs that should be immediately reported to the police by calling 112.
Marie Kartau, the prosecutor of the Luna prosecutor's office, explained that similar hijackings are also taking place in other European countries. “In turn, the experience of other countries shows that hijackers may not be limited to Lexus and Land Cruiser SUVs, since, for example, in Belgium there has recently been a wave of Peugeot 3008 thefts. how they change their activities so that we can prevent the commission of such crimes. Unfortunately, the activities of law enforcement agencies are not enough, and everyone can stand up for their personal property. In addition to protecting your property, cooperation with neighbors helps prevent theft. If you spot suspicious vehicles or people, you should not just keep that information to yourself, but talk to your neighbors or the police about it,” Kartau said.
According to Tommingas, in recent cases of theft, it has been observed that in addition to extending the signal of the key, other theft methods and devices are used, so just placing the key in a metal box or safe does not help to prevent the described cases.
“Therefore, we recommend parking such SUVs at night in such a way that access to the car is difficult for unwanted people. With multiple cars in one household, one might consider having a luxury SUV blocked at night by another family's car, or using some other physical barrier to keep the car from leaving the yard, such as a locked garden gate," the police officer explained. adding. that an additional immobilizer or secret switch can also help provide additional security.
“It is also known that many cars already have an additional function from the factory that can be activated by combining different buttons on the remote so that the signal between the car and the key is completely interrupted for the right time,” said Tommingas, urging vehicle owners to contact their car dealer for more detailed instructions and recommendations.
Sourсe: Postimees / translated by Inpro Insurance /