By Francis Allan L. Angelo

CAR thieves have carted away more than P1 million worth of valuables as of August 2009, according to the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).

From February to August 29, 2009, a total of 31 Bukas Kotse cases were recorded in Iloilo City.

Mandurriao district accounted for the most number of incidents with 15 cases. For the month of August, a total of 8 car thieveries happened in the district.

Jaro district recorded 6 incidents, LaPaz (4), Molo (3), Iloilo City proper (2) and Arevalo (1).

The car thieves loot amounted to P1-million worth of laptop computers and P577,000 worth of cellphones and other items such as bags and a caliber .45 pistol owned by a gun club member.

The ICPO had given the Mandurriao PNP 15 days to crack down the car thieves.

S/Supt Melvin Moncal, ICPO director, said he set the same deadline on the intelligence section to gather information on the Bukas Kotse gang and neutralize them.

Moncal said two of four Bukas Kotse gangs have been neutralized while two are still active.

The police urged business establishments to use closed circuit TV cameras as precautionary measure against car thieves and other criminals.

A CCTV camera of JD and Emilion restaurants along Gen. Luna Street caught how the Bukas Kotse gang operates.

Moncal said the information from the video will help them profile and neutralize car thieves.