The general public has been cautioned about a new trend adopted by car snatchers in Accra and Tema.

A statement issued by the Public Affairs Department of the Ghana Police Service said: “The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) wishes to draw the attention of the general public to a new crime trend by syndicates in relation to auto theft. The CID has recently recorded cases of auto theft in Tema and Accra where these syndicates advertise sale of cars on the internet with contact numbers affixed to them. This enables prospective buyers reach out to them on those numbers. After negotiating and parting with huge sums of money, the syndicate will then outwit victims and steal the car.

“Syndicates advertise cars on the internet with a tracking device fixed in the car unknown to victims. Victims, after expression of interest, negotiate for the price on phone through the contact number(s) provided in the advertisement. Syndicate/Suspect will arrange a meeting place for collection of the money and handing over of the said car, keys and documents to victims,” the statement added.

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“While the victim drives the car away, the syndicate will track the car and halt the engine at a distance with a device in their custody, unknown to the victim. This will immobilise the car and necessitate victims to reach out to suspects for a complaint and solution.

“Victim, upon contacting the syndicate for solution, the lead person or frontier to the deal will assure victim of proceedings and in some cases with a mechanic to check.”

“The Director-General of the CID, DCOP/Mr Bright Oduro wishes to caution prospective car buyers and the general public to be extra cautious as they are likely to fall victim to these miscreants, adding that buyers should always go to a known point of sale of cars and avoid middle men.”