The Royal Oman Police (ROP) is advising rental companies in the sultanate to install GPS tracking systems into their vehicles. The move will help the authorities to track vehicles that have been stolen from car hire firms and missing cars which have been let to finance companies. The ROP said that a special team had been established to liaise with neighbouring countries to combat the export of stolen vehicles from Oman.

Director-General of Criminal Investigation for the ROP, Brigadier Suhail bin Amor, said that in order to stem the rising tide of thefts, car rental agencies should collect as much information as they could from the person renting a vehicle and share that information with the ROP so that suspects could be tracked before they crossed the border.

Amor said that the increasing number of vehicle thefts was linked to a number of factors. Chief among these was the carelessness of those who were responsible for the safety of the vehicles they hired. He added that customers who left their cars unlocked, left the engines running or parked their vehicles in deserted areas were most at risk. He also advised people to keep any valuables they had in the car out of sight.

Amor described how many vehicles were purchased using post dated cheques. The vehicles are then sent abroad and when the seller tries to cash the cheque, he or she finds that the bank account is empty and the cheque is bounced.

Amor went on to say that the ROP had already managed to foil a number of attempts to take stolen cars out of Oman.