News / South Africa

Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
16 Aug 2018
12:12 pm

Tsotsis ‘somehow using X-ray vision’ to steal from cars

Gopolang Moloko

Police say the manner in which laptops are stolen below and behind seats from cars has them believing criminals may somehow know exactly where to find them.

Criminals targeted Lvovo's car and fled with his laptop.

Criminals appear to now have inside info on which car has a laptop hidden inside it.

This is according to Brooklyn police in Pretoria, who say the Tshwane Central Cluster are experiencing an increase in thefts from motor vehicles.

Brooklyn police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach says the rate at which cases are being reported is alarming, as spare wheels, laptops and valuables are being stolen from the Garsfontein, Sunnyside, Villieria, Pretoria Moot, Silverton and Lyttleton policing precincts.

She said some of the cases were bizarre, as in some cases, laptops left behind or under seats were somehow stolen. “Majority of the complainants admit the laptop was hidden under the seat.”

She said the criminals had also set their sights on spare wheels mounted under or on the outside of the vehicles.

“Most of the theft cases occur inside parking areas at shopping centers or on pavements in front of smaller businesses. Criminals are also not deterred [from committing] their crimes in broad daylight.”

“Vehicle owners are advised to invest in antitheft mechanism such as spare-wheel locks. Apart from the fact that additional safety measures will deter thieves, it will also save motorists costs in replacements and repairs. Criminals can damage the tailgate and bumper when they are stealing the spare wheels.”

Weilbach advises motorists to always check if all vehicle doors are locked before moving away from the parked vehicle. This is to ensure that jamming devices are not used to jam the signal of remote-locking cars.

She said motorists were further cautioned to not open false cases or to make false statements. False statements under oath remained a serious offence, cautioned Weilbach.

“Police officers are inspecting all vehicles when cases of theft out of motor vehicle are reported. If the vehicle has already been repaired the police will request a receipt of such repairs. Investigating officers are also visiting crime scenes, and will view available CCTV footage to establish whether the vehicle was indeed parked at the place stated in the statement and whether the vehicle was parked with the spare wheel intact.”

Motorists can in some instances realise a missing spare wheel later, and assume it happened at a shopping centre or mall.

“Parking intelligently is always advised,” said Weilbach, who added parking in areas where the vehicle was clearly visible would benefit the motorist.

Kwaito singer L’vovo Derrango recently tweeted a laptop was stolen from his car, and offered a R30 000 reward for its return.