Vehicles seized by police stolen

KINGSTON — Several motor vehicles that were seized by the police and were being held at police stations across the island have gone missing, triggering a probe by the Anti-Corruption Branch.

Investigators who are still trying to determine the exact number of vehicles that are missing say they are also looking into cases where vehicles stored at police stations have been scrapped for parts and other accessories.

While acknowledging that the complaints have come from several parishes, investigators say most of the cases being probed by the ACB are from the Constant Spring, Half-Way Tree and Elletson Road police stations, located in the Corporate Area.

A number of cases have also been reported at the Spanish Town Police Station in St. Catherine and the Freeport Police Station in St. James.

“In some cases, it’s just the parts [that are stolen] and in other cases it’s the entire car,” one veteran investigator reported.

“In a couple of cases, files have been sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for rulings, while other investigations are far advanced,” said the source.

He said there are a number of active investigations in other cases, but noted that detectives are being frustrated by uncooperative complainants.

Senior Superintendent Anthony Castelle, who heads the St. Catherine North Police Division, said he was not aware of any report that vehicles have gone missing from the Spanish Town Police Station.

“Nobody has reported that to me. I have never heard of that,” said Castelle.

But sources pointed to the case of a Kingston man whose motorcycle was seized by police personnel.

“When he went for the bike they [the police] could not give account for it, and that’s when the owner realised it was missing,” the investigator disclosed.

“No explanation, no nothing … They just couldn’t find it,” the veteran investigator added.

This is not the first time that concern has been raised about the security of vehicles being stored at police stations.

In November 2006, four hours after the police recovered a stolen Mitsubishi Evolution motor car, it went missing again, after it was taken from the premises of the Porus Police Station in Manchester, where it had been locked up and parked.

The silver-looking 2001 vehicle was originally stolen from Ripon Road, New Kingston, and there was no explanation from the police about the circumstances under which the vehicle left the premises. (Gleaner)

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