Auto parts theft grows in Quito

According to the authorities, the most affected sectors would be the northern neighborhoods of the city and the Valle de los Chillos.

The State Attorney General’s Office during 2020 received more than 3.000 complaints for theft of vehicle parts, with Pichincha being the province most affected with 1.370 cases, the majority registered in Quito.

National Police and Prosecutor’s Office seized large quantities of radios, mirrors, windshield wipers, batteries and brains from automobiles, during the health emergency, from various criminal gangs.

The authorities consider that this crime was one of the ones that returned to «normality» the fastest. In August alone, 517 complaints were registered for the theft of accessories, 181 less than a month before the health emergency in the country.

The modus operandi of these criminals are different, according to investigators, some enter the parking lots of the houses and steal parts such as batteries or emergency tires. On the other hand, there are gangs that mobilize in cars with adulterated license plates to distract the police, thieves take advantage of cars that are alone and in clear places, to be able to steal their parts.

The modality of waiting for the drivers to be careless to steal some part of the vehicle is known as «struche», according to official figures, 78.3% of thefts occurred by this modality.

The Police consider that these robberies increased in the health emergency, because for a long time the importation of accessories for vehicles was limited and the gangs stole them to sell them «as new.» Prices in the market, depending on the piece offered, can reach up to USD 1.000.

In Quito, the most vulnerable sectors for this type of theft are the northern neighborhoods and also the Valle de los Chillos, according to the authorities.

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