JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia police have recovered six cars, including one belonging to a Singaporean, after busting a car theft gang.
Seven people were arrested between June 15 and 17, but more are believed to be involved.
The car thieves used a device similar to a master key to disable the cars' security systems, police said.
The syndicate is believed to have been actively stealing vehicles for the past three months, targeting those parked in shopping complexes and other public places.
Johor police chief Datuk Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said that a total of seven people including two women were arrested following an operation targeting the syndicate.
He said that following the first raid, one suspect was arrested on June 15 at around 12pm in Kempas, adding that it led to the arrest of another six people aged between 21 and 40 years old, including the gang's mastermind.
The husband of one of the female suspects surrendered himself on June 18, said Mr Wan Ahmad.
"Initial investigations revealed that the gang were involved in more than 10 cases reported in several areas in the state where stolen vehicles were sold at low prices," he said.
He added that a Toyota Estima belonging to a Singaporean was recovered. It was reported missing at Plaza Angsana on June 7.
Mr Wan Ahmad told reporters in a press conference held at Kulai district police headquarters on Sunday that none of the suspects had a criminal record.
He added that the police also recovered a Nissan Sylphy, a Toyota Altis, a Mitsubishi Colt and two Toyota Wish cars.
The six cars are worth an estimated RM1 million (S$333,000).
The police would be conducting further investigations to nab the remaining members of the gang.
"We believe that they have 10 members. We will go all-out to nab these gangs to ensure that visitors to Johor will feel safe spending weekends or holidays here," he said.
Police also seized "a device used like a master key that would deactivate the stolen vehicles' security system", The New Straits Times reported.
"Wire cutters likely used to start the car before they fled with the vehicles were also seized," said Mr Wan Ahmad.