CrimeNews

Car thieves always seem to be a step ahead of vehicle owners

Ways of breaking into motor vehicles are changing, said Peet Hartman, the Northern Upper Town Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson, and several armed response security officers.

POLOKWANE – Ways of breaking into motor vehicles are changing, said Peet Hartman, the Northern Upper Town Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson, and several armed response security officers.

“During patrols we find that more and more vehicles have been broken into. This proves that criminals are getting smarter by the minute,” Jason Scott, an armed response officer from a security company in the city said.

Some of the methods used include the following:

• One of the easiest methods of breaking into a car with automatic locks without damaging anything is to wedge a space in the door and use a long piece of metal, plastic or wood to hit the lock button.

• The biggest difference between breaking into a vehicle with manual locks instead of automatic locks is that the locking pin has to be pulled instead of pressed.

Criminals follow the same directions, a wedge and long stick through the space created, but will then have to carefully pull up the button to unlock the car. A slim jim, also called a lockout tool, can also be used.

• If a vehicle’s boot is unlocked and the cab is locked, criminals will open it and look around inside for the emergency open boot cable that opens into the car. This will unlock the back passenger seats, allowing them to fall forward in some vehicle models. This is a common feature in most sedans.

• Breaking into a bakkie by using a hand-held drill is one of the newest techniques used by criminals lately.

The thief drills holes into the clip holding the back windows in place. By doing this the clip is weakened, and the windows come apart easily.

Hand-held drills do not make a lot of noise and can also be used to break into houses where there are no safety doors. Thieves make use of the same method as the bakkie back windows.

“Residents are urged to make sure that their vehicles are locked in secure structures or to install motion-detecting sensor lights when a vehicle is left outside.

“The most effective tool in the fight against criminals breaking into vehicles is to make use of an alarm system and not to leave your vehicle unattended in the evenings when parked at shopping centres,” Capt Ntobeng Phala, spokesperson for the Polokwane police, warned.

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