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29 February 2024

Cars 'too easy to steal' in Germany, says envoy


Poland's ambassador to Germany on Monday rejected responsibility for a spate of car thefts on the border between the two countries, suggesting it was "perhaps" too easy to steal cars in Germany.

"This is primarily a problem for the police in the country in which the cars are being stolen," Marek Prawda told the Maerkische Oderzeitung, a regional daily based near the border.

"They should be better prepared. Perhaps it is still too easy to steal cars in Germany," added the ambassador.

Poland's police had successfully tackled the problem of car theft, bringing down the number of vehicles stolen from 72,000 in 1999 to 16,500 in 2010, he added.

According to regional police statistics cited in the media, car thefts in Brandenburg, a German state bordering Poland, have risen by 250 percent compared to 2007, when Warsaw entered the EU's border-free Schengen zone.

In the border town of Frankfurt an der Oder, the number of cars stolen has risen by nearly 500 percent in the same timeframe, according to official statistics.

The cars are often sold on in other countries of the former Soviet bloc or broken down for spare parts.