KOTA KINABALU - Penampang police made their biggest vehicle theft bust in the district this year with the arrest of five workshop operators here.
The culprits, who were involved in stealing vehicles worth more than RM400,000 (S$156,000), were picked up separately from Penampang and Kota Kinabalu between Aug 13 and 21.
District police chief Deputy Supt Ratan Singh said all the five men were also involved in house break-ins and cannibalising the stolen vehicles.
Police investigations eventually led to the recovery of five vehicles, including a Toyota Prado, Toyota Hilux and Proton Saga, that were sold to buyers in Keningau, Penampang and Kota Kinabalu, he said.
"Apart from selling the stolen vehicles, we believe that the suspects would also sell the spare parts and engines," he said, adding that several units of car engines from the stolen vehicles were also recovered.
DSP Ratan said the suspects would first break into a house when no one was at home.
"They would then grab the keys left near the porch and drive off with the car.
"They would later change the engine of a stolen vehicle to prevent detection," he said.