NEARLY 3,000 motor vehicles were reportedly stolen in the first quarter of the year with Metro Manila remaining as the hub of car thefts in the country, figures from the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) showed.
The PNP-HPG said that from January to March 2014, 2,662 motorcycles and cars have been reported stolen, which is more than half of the reported incidents last year.
The figures show Metro Manila experiencing 129 carnapping incidents, Southern Tagalog 63 and Central Luzon 35.
The police found that 413 motorcycle thefts were recorded in Central Luzon 378 in Southern Tagalog and 335 in Metro Manila.
On the other hand, the regions of Mimaropa and Soccksargen were virtually free of vehicle thefts and only seven incidents were logged in the typhoon-hit region of Eastern Visayas.
PNP-HPG Director, Senior Supt. Sheldon Atabang said since shippers do not need to get a shipping clearance from the police, car thieves can transport stolen vehicles to island provinces.
The police official blamed the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) officials for not allowing lawmen to enter ports and and setting up their own police force in the harbors.
“The PPA has its own guards. We can only monitor from the outside,” Atabang said.
The police official said three stolen motorcycles were recently recovered from 2Go Travel, an international courier service.