GEORGE TOWN - A car theft syndicate responsible for at least 15 luxury car theft cases involving RM4 million (S$1.3 million) was busted with the arrest seven people including its mastermind in Penang, Kedah and Pahang.
The syndicate known as Geng Azri usually targeted luxury cars placed at car wash or car service centres in Penang, Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Johor. They would pose as the car owners' workers who were asked by their "boss" to collect the cars on the their behalf.
Penang CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Zakaria Ahmad said a Volkswagen GTI was stolen from a service centre in Bukit Tengah, a few hours after the owner left it at the centre on Oct 31.
"The 34-year-old mastermind and his girlfriend, 30, went to the service centre and claimed that they were employees of the car owner. The service centre personnel then handed the key over to one of the suspects and they fled in the car.
"They were subsequently picked up at their house in Bukit Tengah on Dec 5 in connection with the theft," he told a press conference yesterday.
SAC Zakaria added that they then led a police team to the arrest of another five men, aged between 28 and 35, in three states.
"A RM600,000 Porsche Cayenne together with a Subaru Impreza 2.0 worth RM200,000 were recovered with their arrest. The vehicles had Singaporean-registered number plates to escape police detection.
"We are working with our counterparts to trace the other stolen cars which we believe were already transported out of Penang but still in Malaysia," he said.
SAC Zakaria said the gang was also involved in burglaries and theft electrical appliances from shops, adding that the male suspects have previous crime records for car theft, robbery, drugs and attempted murder and the woman was high on the police wanted list for a drug case.
"Our investigations showed that the mastermind from Sungai Petani, Kedah, has 28 previous crime records and he was also high on the police wanted list
"They have all been have been remanded until Friday to assist in investigations under Section 379A(1) of the Penal Code for vehicle theft," he said.
In an unrelated case, police arrested a 39-year-old man for a spate of burglary cases on the island involving more than RM100,000.
He was picked up from his house in Batu Maung on Dec 13 and investigations showed that he usually favoured gold jewellery and foreign currencies.