Jammed car alarm: mall theft alert

2012-04-24 00:00

MOTORISTS must physically check that their vehicles’ doors are locked after activating the alarm.

This was the message from the police and Liberty Midlands Mall security after three suspects were arrested after a theft involving remote jamming last Tuesday.

Sundrasen Govender’s laptop was stolen from his car at the mall after two men had apparently overridden the central locking frequency using a remote for a gate.

“What happened is that I took five steps and pressed the remote,” said Govender, little realising that his central locking system had been blocked.

He said he only realised after he had left the mall that his laptop was missing.

Govender phoned the mall the following day to report the matter.

The mall’s general manager, Thea Marx, said five cases of remote jamming had been reported in 2011 and three this year.

She told The Witness: “Our shoppers’ safety and best interests are paramount in every security-related decision we make, and as testimony to this the mall has a multi-million-rand CCTV and vehicle identification system in place.”

She said the equipment made it easier to identify the suspects and the vehicles they targeted for theft.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said three arrests were made after viewing the CCTV footage on Wednesday.

She said that on the footage two suspects were seen tampering with a vehicle and removing a laptop. They fled in a silver Toyota Auris.

“On Thursday the mall security spotted the men entering the mall and immediately contacted the police and the men were arrested,” Jeevan added.

On Friday the police were led to a house in the CBD where the laptop was recovered and a 37-year-old foreign national was also arrested.

“We urge all motorists to physically check that their vehicles are locked by trying the door after locking the car remotely,” said Marx.

The mall said it does not take the matter lightly and would continue to monitor the situation and work closely with the police.

Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald said this kind of theft was not as widespread as people were led to believe. But he said KZN had more such incidents reported than Gauteng.

The three suspects are due to appear in court soon.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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