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They prefer to snatch Skodas

If thieves use old-fashioned instruments like metal scales to crank open a window and lift the avuncular Maruti 800 cars, they get a little more foolhardy when targeting plush Chevrolets and zippy Skodas, reports Karan Choudhary.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2009 23:54 IST
Karan Choudhary

If thieves use old-fashioned instruments like metal scales to crank open a window and lift the avuncular Maruti 800 cars, they get a little more foolhardy when targeting plush Chevrolets and zippy Skodas.

Car thieves are most likely to snatch these cars from the drivers themselves, rather than resort to subtler methods.

The reasion? Most high-end cars are fitted with an array of security gadgets that make it difficult to steal them. So as far as stealing cars is concerned, thieves stick to cars like old Maruti variants, Tata Indica and Santro.

And where is the graveyard or hell for the stolen Marutis and Indicas?

Delhiites don't have to look further than their neighborhood.

According to police, UP has some of the biggest chop shops and best forgers available for making fake documents of cars.

“Notorious car thieves like Anil Chauhan and Rinku Punjabi preferred to steal Maruti-800s and took them to UP,” said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

“In Meerut, Soti Ganj has few of the biggest chop shops. Here stolen cars are brought on a daily basis, ripped and them sold in pieces," According to police there is a huge rural market for Maruti-800s. They are also in much demand in Nepal and Northeastern states.

According to Sandeep Narula, director Atlanta Systems and makers of GPS and GSM car tracking system called Prackar said, “Old Maruti variants have almost no security system other than a manual lock. They are easy to sell and are assured to give the thief a good bargain."

However, Maruti on their part claim that post October 2006, this problem has been rectified. “We have fitted all our cars with immobilzers called iCats. The keys used to start the cars are coded. These codes change every time the car is started. These cannot be duplicated and without an original key it will not start," said a spokesman with Maruti.