Alert woman foils lock blocker

2011-04-09 00:00

A TECH-SAVVY thief who tried to block the remote control lock of alert Weekend Witness reader Sandra Ducasse’s car, left empty handed after she realised what he was up to.

She said, “I went to Parklane Spar where I normally do my shopping. As I had just parked the car, I tried to lock it using my remote, but the car did not lock. I did it again, and I checked to see if the car was indeed locked, but it wasn’t.”

Ducasse said she had fortunately read an article in Weekend Witness about tech-savvy thieves striking at parking lots across Pietermaritzburg, reportedly jamming signals sent by remote to car locks before stealing valuables left in the vehicles while the owners shop.

“As I looked around I saw that the owner of the car that was parked next to mine had his hands behind him, but when he noticed that I was on to him he decided to put the gate remote into his pocket and took out a cellphone then just walked away casually as if nothing had happened,” said Ducasse.

She spoke to the security guard about what had just happened, and reported the incident to the Spar manager.

“We were able to get the numberplate of the suspect who drove away after he noticed that his plans had been ruined,” she added.

She said the suspect was driving a white car, but she was unable to identify the make, and took down the registration — an NP number.

The thieves press the button on a gate remote to block the signal sent simultaneously from the car’s key by its owner.

Security guards at the centre confirmed the incident.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the crime has been reported at Liberty Midlands Mall, Parklane, Victoria Shopping Centre and St Anne’s Hospital.

She said no one has so far been arrested.

“We want to put out a warning to motorists to ensure that they physically check that their doors are locked,” she said.

Jeevan urged all motorists to check that their cars are locked before they leave to go shopping.

She said yesterday’s incident had not been reported to them and they were not aware that the syndicate was still continuing until yesterday.

“Motorists must avoid leaving their valuable items inside their cars,” added Jeevan.

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