Estonian police may send liaison officer to Lithuania to combat car theft

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Since groups of thieves from Lithuania have set their sights on luxury cars in Estonia, the Estonian police is considering sending a liaison officer to Lithuania to more effectively combat such crimes.

In an end-of-year interview with BNS, director general of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board Elmar Vaher said that stealing of luxury cars in Estonia came to an end seven or eight years ago.

«Back then there were two or three criminal groups who were doing it, which have been disbanded by now. Then the problem of car theft moved to Sweden and Estonian police had many joint operations with Swedish police to curb crime there. Now the situation has changed in such way that the ones stealing luxury cars are no longer Estonian criminal groups but Lithuanian ones,» the national police chief said.

He said the ones stealing cars were trained criminals acting on concrete orders from Russia and Belarus.

«For instance, one group became aggressive lately, as it had orders but suitable cars are often difficult to find. They are armed, an experienced race driver sits behind the wheel of the car whose task is to escape the police under any circumstances. And they have very good equipment,» Vaher said.

The police chief described cooperation between Estonian and Lithuanian police as very good.

«Nonetheless, were are mulling sending a separate liaison officer to Lithuania to still more effectively fight against crime originating in Lithuania. We've managed to catch two or three Lithuanian groups by now, but we know that one more bunch of people is still active at the moment. And apprehending them will be effective when the case is handled principally in Lithuania,» Vaher added.