The Bloemfontein police have warned the public about increasing cases of theft from vehicles at various parking bays at shopping malls in the city of Bloemfontein.
Capt. Chaka Marope from the Park Road police cluster says several cases of theft from vehicles were reported, warning car owners to be on high alert and to no longer leave any valuables in their vehicles.
He said hot spots at this stage are parking lots in Westdene, around the Sars building, the Bram Fischer building, Charlotte Maxeke Street and Harvey Road, as well as showground parking in Curie Avenue. Marope says criminals are after valuable items such as laptops, cameras, cellphones, wallets and handbags.
“Analysis reveals that most of the incidents are due to negligence and sheer carelessness of some motorists. It has also been noted that an absence of vigilance exists with regard to the criminal element that lies in wait. Motorists must be extra careful and ensure their vehicles are in fact properly locked before they walk away,” says Marope. Marope said police investigations have also discovered a new trend and tactics thieves use to steal valuables from vehicles. He said through investigation, the police have further discovered the models of vehicles thieves are targeting, because they are able to gain entry without using force, remaining undetected.
“Their modus operandi is that those criminals fool motorists into thinking that they have locked their vehicles. Thieves simply press the button on a gate remote to block the signal sent simultaneously from the vehicle’s keys by its owner, which interferes with the locking mechanism frequency on the vehicles remote, and the vehicles do not lock. As soon as vehicle owners are out of sight, they then help themselves to any valuable items they want from cars, without forced entry,” said Marope.
He said vehicle owners’ habit of not double checking that cars are properly locked makes them easy prey.
These criminals are out there waiting and watching when you press your remote to lock your vehicle.
They walk around in parking bays as if they are ordinary people and nobody suspects them.
We urge motorists to ensure that their vehicles are locked regardless of where a vehicle is parked.
Also ensure that the central locking system is fully and properly activated, both visually and audibly.
If you suspect that someone disturbs you during this procedure, report the incident to the nearest police station,” said Marope.