MALACCA: The high number of motorcycle thefts in the historic city is hindering police in maintaining the lowest crime index in Malaysia.
The thefts contributed to 41 per cent of the total crime index recorded each year, said Malacca deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Mohd Shahrizan Che Mat Din yesterday.
He said motorcycle thefts were still a major issue for police and most of the cases were caused by the carelessness of motorcyclists.
Most thefts occurred in public areas where the machines were not securely locked and engine was left running, he said.
ACP Mohd Shahrizan said brands like Honda and Yamaha were the favourite among motorcycle thieves, who were mostly Mat Rempit.
He said thieves targeted smaller machines instead of superbikes.
ACP Mohd Shahrizan said stolen motorcycles were cannibalised for their parts and the frames discarded in rivers or bushes.
"Our effort to maintain the lowest crime index was derailed by the increase in motorcycle thefts recorded each year," he said.
Last year, there were 1,523 cases, he said, adding that based on reports lodged by victims, most of the machines were stolen from public motorcycle parking bays, condominiums, villages and flats.
There were also cases where the keys were left in the ignition switch while the owners were away from home, he said.
He said some of the stolen motorcycles were recovered in rural areas.