Addis Ababa Police Recover 22 Stolen Cars, Arrest 33 Suspects

ADDIS ABABA – Police in Addis Ababa say they have arrested 33 suspects in connection with car theft in an ongoing crackdown on car crime.

In a statement today, Addis Ababa Police says a major investigation into the crime was launched after increased car theft reported recently.

The investigation has so far led to the recovery of 22 cars stolen on different occasions, said Commander Alemayehu Ayalke, head of Organized Crimes Investigation Directorate of the capital’s Police.

Commander Alemayehu said the probe revealed that most of the stolen cars were first driven to Hawassa, a city located 274 kilometres south of Addis Ababa.

Officers found 15 of the recovered vehicles either in Hawassa or a town nearby the city, the statement says.

The recovered cars have been brought back to Addis Ababa today, says police, adding that the remaining seven cars were found in Addis Ababa.

Police have arrested 33 suspects in connection to  stolen vehicles. Most of the arrests, 19, were made in Addis Ababa while 14 were caught in Hawassa, according to the Police.

The arrested individuals include those suspected of stealing, buyers of the stolen vehicles and those who acted as middleman.

The investigation is still ongoing, said commander Alemayehu, who has expressed his appreciation to the Sidama Region police for successful cooperation.

According to the investigation, parking in unsecured areas gives opportunities for thieves that go around looking for chances to steal cars.

In other cases, the suspects wait for time when drivers leave their key in a car. This often gives them an opportunity to copy and duplicate keys to steal the cars later, police say.

Drivers need to be vigilant and take the necessary caution to keep their cars safe, Commander Alemayehu said in the statement the police issued today.

Featured Image Caption: Fifteen stolen cars recovered from hawass have been brought back to Addis Ababa on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. [Photo AAP]