Date registered: Jan 2005
Vehicle: 2006 ML350
Location: Chicago, IL
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Car stolen? Who you gonna call?
Please be careful in Tirana with your MBs
TIRANA (Reuters) - Albanians are so sick of police doing nothing about the theft and hijacking of luxury cars that they've taken to setting up their own informal networks of hot-lines and roadblocks.
When a big new Mercedes was stolen at gunpoint earlier this month from a Tirana parking lot, the lot owner immediately called in his friends from the capital and around the country instead of dialing the local police precinct.
Using mobile phones, three cars homed in on the late-model limousine from different directions while an unofficial road block was set up near the northern town of Lezhe.
The car-jackers saw the private roadblock, got out and took off, the Gazeta Shqiptare newspaper said.
The Mercedes owner got his car back so fast he did not believe it had ever been stolen, until the parking lot owners showed him damage to the car radio, it added.
The paper said statistics showed "you could count on the fingers of one hand" the number of stolen car cases solved by police, while private recovery appeared to be highly effective.
Top model cars are being lifted at the rate of 15 a week in Tirana, the paper said, citing prosecutors' figures.
No one was allowed a car in Albania until the collapse of communism in 1991 and through the 1990s the country was known as the most likely destination of cars stolen in western Europe.
"Do business in Albania," ran a joke popular among German businessmen, "your car's already there."
2006 ML 350 - Black, Appearance Package, Navigation System, Entertainment Package, Sunroof Package, Heated Seats, IPod Integration