Car theft figures down sharply

The number of car theft dropped dramatically in the first quarter of this year, new figures have shown.Crime investigation official Rainer Erhart said yesterday (Tues) 939 cars had been stolen across the country during the first three months of 2010. He stressed this was a 53 per cent decline to the same period of the previous year.Erhart said the figures confirmed the work of the federal police¬ís “SoKo Kfz” special commission focusing on car theft incidences. He said a key aspect of the group¬ís work was analysing the structures of organised crime gangs since their networks were mostly unharmed by the arrest of single members.Federal Crime Office (BK) chief Gerhard Lang said most vehicles stolen from Austrian roads would be transferred to Poland, Hungary and Slovakia where they are prepared by the gangs for resale in “destination countries” such as Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.Lang claimed some bandits were already considering other areas for their illicit operations due to the upped achievements by Austrian police as neighbouring Germany currently registered an increase in car theft.He added German brands Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes were most popular with thieves operating in Austria.Police announced recently that the overall number of reported crime had declined by 7.5 per cent to 131,914 in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2009.