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Polish ambassador: too easy to nick German cars

The Local · 2 Jan 2012, 11:56

Published: 02 Jan 2012 10:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Jan 2012 11:56 GMT+01:00

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Speaking to the Märkische Oderzeitung, which covers the northern border area between the two countries, ambassador Marek Prawda said Polish authorities had been very successful in cutting the number of car thefts.

The problem of Polish car thieves stealing German cars and taking them across the border to sell was one for the German authorities, he said.

“I want to say, it is initially a problem for the police in the country where the cars are stolen,” he said. “They have to tackle it more effectively. Perhaps it is also too easy to steal cars in Germany?”

Asked whether the subject of Polish car thieves working in Germany was a concern in Poland – and whether their activities damage relations between the two countries – Prawda said Polish and German police were working together on the problem, and that he had heard positive reports of their work.

“The Polish police put great weight on prevention in their fight against car theft,” he said. “And I think it helps less in this question to talk about the damage to political relations rather than doing more to prevent it.”

Polish authorities had managed to massively reduce car thefts, he said, with nearly 72,000 cars stolen in Poland in 1999 – and just 16,500 stolen in 2010.

Regional police statistics cited in the media say car thefts in Brandenburg, which borders 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 period, according to official statistics.

Story continues below…

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:15 January 2, 2012 by mos101392
If the Germans are able control black market cigarettes and fireworks coming into Germany,,,I think it would not be much work setting up checkpoints at every border crossing and check for proof of ownership of vehicles.

Makes you wonder if the wall coming down was worth it!
11:31 January 2, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Remarks worthy of the Berlusconi school of political communication..........lol
11:34 January 2, 2012 by Ind-Deutsche
"Perhaps it is also too easy to steal cars in Germany?" => whether it is easy to steal cars in German or German cars?
11:34 January 2, 2012 by raandy
Germans say "if your auto is missing in Germany today it is in Poland tomorrow" The Polish say "Come to Poland for your holiday as your auto is already here."
12:15 January 2, 2012 by starsh3ro
yeah its not the polish criminals fault that they steal so many cars, its the fault of the german car owners. makes sense.

14:13 January 2, 2012 by freechoice
So what is the most popular car to steal from Germany? Shift that production line to Poland, and make it less attractive to steal!!!!
14:23 January 2, 2012 by BobbyDigital
So, is it OK in Poland to rape, for example, if she makes it too easy?
14:49 January 2, 2012 by Englishted
From the photo the thief is a ninja and I did not know they had them in Poland.

Also why didn't the cameraman stop him ?.
16:10 January 2, 2012 by Illogicbuster
Let's play this out and see what the Polish Amb. would say IF...

Scenario: Polish people being murdered in Germany.

German Minister to Polish Amb. to Germany, "The reason SO many Poles are murdered in Germany is that they are too easy to kill."

See, it is all explained...
18:22 January 2, 2012 by ND1000
If Germany wants to stop this mess a good place to start would be arresting Germans who are involved and its more than just a few. Anybody who thinks otherwise is dillusional. Germans scout out vehicles and get others to do the theft. Its more complicated than people think.
18:25 January 2, 2012 by ramalama
remove the ignition plug from the distributor its about the size of a lighter even if the car is broken into it cant be started.

ok thats just to PRACTICAL and FREE ....ignore me
18:46 January 2, 2012 by hanskarl
Interesting commentary. I would suggest that it is Schengen; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
19:54 January 2, 2012 by auniquecorn
What everyones over looking here is the real culprit.

Germans buy these nice cars, after 6 months the insurance rates higher, petros higher, cost of living is to exspensive to own the car anymore. Solution?

Drive it to Poland. sell it on the black market, Pocket a few thousand euros, take the train back to Germany, get up in the morning. an say, oh sh!t, someone stole my car.

Call the police and report it. Insurance pays you off.

Get another car.
21:06 January 2, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
reminds me of an old joke postcard from about 15 years ago... when Volkswagen ran an ad campaign for the VW Golf with a number of permutations of the slogan "I like the Golf because...".

So there was this postcard in the same style and layout as the ads, which read "Ich mag den Golf... weil er so leicht zu knacken ist"... (I like the Golf... because it's so easy to break into")... and it had a point, Volkswagen locks back in the day were unbelievably easy to break, including the ignition. All you needed was a larger flathead screwdriver which you simply rammed into the keyhole at some force and then turned it, and the lock popped open.

How do I know this? Don't worry, I never dabbled in car theft, but that's how thieves broke into my '92 VW Passat once and stole my camera and some other valuables. The police officers who came out to take a look at my car the next morning said it was unfortunately a well-known fact both among car thieves and the police that older-model VW locks were no match for a simple screwdriver.

Nowadays, however, it should not be quite as easy to break open and steal modern cars. That's not to say it can't be done, but you need some serious electronic hardware to steal something like a late-model Audi or Mercedes. On the other hand, I guess it doesn't stop organized crime from trying and succeeding.
22:48 January 2, 2012 by wxman
Considering what happened in 1939, this is rather insignificant. Keep everything in perspective.
23:30 January 2, 2012 by supernova
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
07:08 January 3, 2012 by volvoman9
Read any European news publication and the comments are the same. Communism created an impoverished ill educated society and it will be decades before the effects of the EU will be mitigated. You simply can't have and open border and maintain your culture. Immigrants and visitors from poorer countries will always want your standard of living but stupidly think they can have that and import their culture too. Perhaps it will lead to more ethnic hatred than it can cure.

This is the same the world over. The poor do not hate the wealthy because of ideological or religious differences. They hate them because they covet the very things they have. It's more about greed and need than anything else. The rest are just excuses. Would you rather drive a Benz or a Trabi?

Too bad the Germans make such fine autos. They should emulate the Russian auto industry for a few years. Problem solved.
07:27 January 3, 2012 by steve_glienicke
It's so simple for them, friend of mine has a Merc SLK350, twice in 1 year it was broken into and the Full Navi and Audio system stolen, the car was not damaged in any other way, This lot was stolen to order and is common knowledge in Brandenburg where i live that they sit in supermarket car parks all day on a saturday, with their shopping list of items ordered, they watch the cars coming, while your shopping they check your car to ensure it contains what they need, then follow you home and hey ho, come sunday morning your phoning the police.
10:07 January 3, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ supernova #16

Yes, you are right, countries like Poland, Romania and Bulgaria should not be in the EU. They are a burden to the other member countries in the sense that the Western EU members look bad when comparing the literacy rate (according to the UNESCO statistics) and public debt (52.8% of GDP for Poland, 33.8% for Romania, 16.2% for Bulgaria compared with 83.4% for Germany, 76.1% for UK, 82.4% for France - latest figures from CIA World Factbook). Also when comparing figures before their EU accession, these Eastern countries have significantly lower figures for criminality (3799 criminal offences per 100,000 inhabitants in Poland, 1237 in Romania, 1729 in Bulgaria as compared with 7976 in Germany, 11241 in UK (England and Wales), 6605 in France). So it would have been better that these countries rise their criminality, literacy and public debt to the Western Europe levels and only then join the EU.

Supernova, I think you can provide the statistics for the brothels, as you seem to be more familiar with them.
12:45 January 3, 2012 by Pablo_2012
to @ supernova #16

You are foolish individual and racist.

Russians are the cause of this, Polish just steal for them and export to Russia, that;s how it works, the rest is taken apart, and sold as parts.

but the problem lies much deeper, there are too many illegal tools available on the market that defeat immobilizer system. and guess who created them Russians and Czechs and Germans !!!, and they sell these tools online , chineses sells them too and make copies which are available for under $50 bucks even on Ebay !!!! , those cars can be stolen without the key ,
13:09 January 3, 2012 by jg.
Pablo_2012 "You are foolish individual and racist. Russians are the cause of this,..."

I cannot believe that, having written the first sentence, you would then continue with the second.

I guess if German insurers cared enough about this issue, they would encourage the use of tracking systems like "Tracker" via insurance premium discounts.
13:32 January 3, 2012 by vossy
Car makers are not bothered if your car gets stolen, they sell another car while yours is in the east. Cars in England are stolen then broken into parts and sent to the east, the auto salvage yards always have polish vans loading in them, it seems systemic that eastern europeans are just born thieves!
14:40 January 3, 2012 by CensorThis
I think there are a lot of people that did not give this any thought. The Polish ambassador did not say it was OK that cars were being stolen in Germany. What power does he have over what happens in Germany?

How many of you have travelled in Eastern Europe? Even basic models of VWs, Yugos, and any other car you can imagine have locks on the stick shift along with other mechanisms. People in these countries know there are car thieves and they lock their cars betters. This was the only point he was making. Why would they deal with less expensive cars that are more difficult to steal in Poland when they could just cross into Germany where people leave their cars running in the driveway?

If a German commits a crime in another country is the German government responsible for the solution?

I also understand the flip side of this where the responsibilty is on the Polish government to make it more difficult for people to export or use these cars. I think both sides have things to fix, but being that Germany has the most to gain from it I do not see why they think Poland should care as much as them.
14:42 January 3, 2012 by ND1000
@supernova, I went to university in America and became very good friends with a couple of Polish guys. Both were extremely intelligent but more important very large guys who played American football. I think they call them "offensive linemen". One of them is over visiting me for the holidays and says he wants to meet you. I think he said something about introducing you to Mr. Fist. I know I will enjoy it.
16:44 January 3, 2012 by franconia
I have to shake my head when I read most comments. @ Englishted gets all bummed about the photo, he can not see that it is staged. @Jg tracking system? Do you know how close some major Cities are to Poland, it takes minutes to be across the border, then what? @censorthis , it is against the law to have cars running or windows open in Germany when leaving a car, are you from the US.Most of you don't know that Polish thievery is documented and known , going back a hundert years or so. Now it happens to be shiny cars.They have been known to enter Germany with Polish license plates,break open your garage and drive out with a "Polish" car.When you see a Mercedes loaded on a small Polish flatbed trailer with a bumper, fender and a wheel missing, it is not an accident car. The missing parts travel in a separate car a day later.Small barges with cranes on top on the river Oder and Neisse, which is the border, have picked up German cars from lots close to the water, never to be seen again. Come on Guys, Germans involved? You must be kidding, or Polish !!! I have more examples, but being German i am forbidden to rat on the Poles,its not politically correct to some folks.
17:59 January 3, 2012 by XFYRCHIEF
As our friends from Lubeck warned us - "You may drive to Poland, but you will walk home." Even our rental car had a sticker on the windscreen advising us that if we drove into Poland our insurance would not cover theft of the vehicle.

But the problem extends to the U. S.; here in Chicago they did a news report on stolen cars and traced a large number to Poland - they even still had the Chicago city vehicle sticker on the window. And, interestingly, Chicago has the second largest Polish population of any city in the world.

Finally, in spite of all this, it is ignorant and wrong to blame the Poles as a people for these crimes. There are a lot of nationalities out there just more than willing to steal your car.
18:08 January 3, 2012 by Al uk
I have the answer right here, the worlds best car alarm.

18:16 January 3, 2012 by ND1000
@franconia, Im probably more of a German than you'll ever be. You are either a bigot or a dillusional idiot if you think Germans arent involved. Two German guys in the next village over from me were arrested about 8 months ago for being involved in this system. They have implicated others as well to save their own skins. Dont feel bad though, you arent the only idiot posting racist and or prejudiced propaganda on this forum. Keep your chin up though, you and some of your pals here have a future in the extreme right party of your choice. If Germans like me can get Germans like you and a few million others that think like you to quit being a-holes, we may have a chance to shake off the stigma that has been attached to us since the end of WW2.
20:12 January 3, 2012 by XFYRCHIEF
I would like to restate my comment. Instead of stating ".. a lot of nationalities..." I should have said "...a lot of people...". Nationality has nothing to do with this - I am certain the majority of auto thefts in Chicago are Americans.
09:36 January 4, 2012 by taby
There are two sides to this:

1. The Polish Tourist Board is behind this, and

2. Where do you think Mercedes, etc. get your genuine (yet refurbished) replacement parts from?
18:40 January 4, 2012 by Englishted

Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning dissimulation or feigned ignorance)
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