GOMBAK - A man's stint as a tow truck operator eventually turned him into an expert vehicle thief.
District OCPD Asst Comm Ali Ahmad said the man, known only as Jack, 47, had stolen at least 30 cars in Gombak and its surrounding districts in the past year alone.
"We believe that Jack learned how to break into cars from his experience as a tow truck operator and repossessor," he added.
According to ACP Ali, Jack had forged five master keys which would enable him and his two accomplices to steal cars without immobilisers, which is usually the case in older vehicles.
An immobiliser prevents a car's engine from starting without the correct ignition key.
"Our investigations revealed that it takes less than five minutes for the three to steal a car," he said, adding that a stolen car would be driven and parked at residential areas or shopping malls.
"A buyer would show up to purchase the car on the spot, while in other cases, the cars would be dismantled for their parts," he said.
The trio's spree came to an end on Feb 13 when they were arrested under an operation codenamed Ops Rejang.
"We made our first breakthrough with the arrest of Jack's accomplices, a man and a woman, at around 3pm in Rawang before they led police to a location where 30 stolen cars were parked," said ACP Ali, adding that Jack was arrested soon after.
However, he said police were still hunting for possible remnants of the syndicate.
Jack and another male suspect were found to have previous records for theft and violence.