Intensified police operations against motorcycle theft are paying off as more vehicles are recovered and thieves arrested.
“Through investigations in collaboration with motorcycle cooperatives and motorcyclists in particular, as well as the general public, we have been able to identify some individuals and groups involved in this criminal activity, and actually the main destinations locally and across our borders where the motorcycles are taken,” said RNP spokesman Theos Badege.
Since the beginning of this year, twelve motorcycles have been reported stolen to the police.
“Through community policing, we have been able to recover ten out of twelve motorcycles stolen this year. We have also arrested ten people, all of them caught red-handed either trying to cross the border or using the motorcycle after changing its number plates,” Badege said.
At least five of the recovered motorcycles were found in Rubavu.
Solomon Bigirimana, the president of the federation of commercial motorcycle operators in Rwanda Ferwacotamo, said most of the motorcycles stolen from its members are intercepted before they cross the borders.
“This used to be a serious concern in the past years, but today we are optimistic that when any of our members’ motorcycle is stolen and it is quickly reported, it will be recovered through information exchange between the police and motorcyclists. It’s a tradition that as the police is informed about the theft, so are our members across the country,” he explained.
There are about 55,000 commercial motorcyclists in Rwanda, and around 13,000 of them operate in Kigali.
“We are currently mobilizing our members to install GPS tracking devices on their motorcycles, which will facilitate investigations and quick recovery in case it’s stolen. We have a server where, for example, a motorcycle can be locked wherever it is, and this includes if it has violated road safety standards or involved in any criminal acts,” Bigirimana said.
He added the cooperative is also working to upgrade the GPS system to also be able to track stolen motorcycles in neighbouring countries.
“We will be able to know if a missing motorcycle is in a specific country, and this will also facilitate the police work with their foreign colleagues to track and recover it and arrest criminals behind the theft,” he said.