Bluff burglars targeting cars

KEEP your vehicles safe as thefts are on the rise, warns Brighton Beach SAPS.

In the last three months, according to media officer, Captain Louise Le Roux, the Brighton Beach policing area has experienced an increase in vehicle-related crimes.

“These crimes are committed generally between the hours of 8am and 8pm with no specific make of vehicle being targeted,” said Capt Le Roux.

Beaches, sporting venues, shopping malls and flea markets have been targeted. Cars have also been stolen during house breakings and off verges outside homes and in business parking lots – particularly those in Clairwood and Jacobs.

Capt Le Roux offers the following guidelines to safeguard your vehicles:

  • Never leave your car running while unattended.
  • Lock all doors when parked. This includes when parked behind security gates and inside a garage.
  • Don’t leave vehicle keys or the spare set lying on tables near windows or hanging on key racks. Place keys in a drawer that can’t be reached through a window.
  • Always park in high-traffic areas, rather than in isolated areas. Whether you’re parking in the street, on the verge or in a secured parking garage, opt for a well-lit area, preferably under street lamps.
  • When parking your vehicle try doing so with the front facing an obstacle. Turn the wheels towards the kerb and lock the steering.
  • You can also disable your vehicle when stolen by means of installing a starter interrupt switch.
  • Invest in a vehicle theft tracking or security system. This will assist the police to track your vehicle if stolen, or track you should you fall prey to a hijacking.
  • Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column or brakes to minimise the chance of your vehicle being stolen.
  • When locking your vehicle feel the door handle to ensure it is locked securely. When activating your car’s alarm system with your remote, face your vehicle. Ensure you hear the doors lock, hear the door lock and see the indicator light flash. Wait for 30 second before you walk off to ensure your locking device has not been deactivated.
  • If you must leave your key with a valet, attendant, car washer or mechanic leave only the ignition key. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm.
  • Never leave personal identification documents, vehicle ownership titles, or credit cards in your vehicle.
  • Your vehicle identification number (VIN) should be etched on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid. This makes it difficult for a thief to sell your stolen car parts.
  • Copy your license plate number and VIN onto a piece of paper and keep them with you. If your vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to circulate your vehicle.
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Lock such away in the trunk of the vehicle.
  • Don’t travel with valuables left on passenger seats or the floor. Handbags must also be locked in the trunk of the vehicle.

 

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  AUTHOR
Erin Hanekom
Journalist

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