Car-theft scheme using papers of totaled vehicles bared

Congressman files bill to combat it
Aug 1, 2011

While police authorities are busy going after carjackers, the criminals are busy coming up with new ways to steal vehicles.

A lawmaker has just revealed that some carjacking syndicates buy the insurance policy of a totaled vehicle, steal a similar car, and make it appear that the stolen unit is the one that appears in the registration details. 

"This scheme is giving the authorities a hard time apprehending stolen vehicles due to the fact that the legitimate registration of totally wrecked cars covers up the spurious registration of stolen vehicles," Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado said. "This scheme being perpetrated by car thieves will be avoided through the cancellation of registration of totally wrecked vehicles."

Because of this, Mercado has filed a bill that seeks to cancel the registration of totally-wrecked vehicles that are covered by an insurance policy.

According to Mercado, who serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, House Bill 4926 does not include totaled cars that are not covered by an insurance policy.

Under the measure, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) should cancel the registration of totally-wrecked vehicles that are covered by an insurance policy for its replacement in case of damage or theft. The insurance company that issues the policy of the totally-wrecked vehicle will be directed to report the car's status to the LTO.

Under the bill, the reportorial requirements stated in the Act should not hinder the insurance companies in compensating the owners of the totaled vehicles of what is due to them in accordance with the insurance policy.

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