Door opened by criminals before you even leave your car

You’re out and about doing your monthly shopping. Your mind is at ease knowing that you have locked your car and that your valuables are safe. Meanwhile, when you were getting out of your car, a cunning criminal, posing as a passerby, opened one car door just a smidgen while you weren’t looking and is now helping himself to your hard earned possessions!

After another such incident was caught on CCTV at Menlyn Retail Park in Pretoria last month, and with festive season shopping sprees around the corner, insurance brand, Virseker, urges motorists to be vigilant when parking their vehicles in public spaces.

According to Elmarie Twilley, spokesperson for Virseker, “Criminals make a point of always being one step ahead of you. This tactic not only allows them easy access to laptops, sunglasses, GPSs, jewelry, shopping bags full of goodies and more, but, as a vehicle’s alarm often won’t engage when all doors aren’t properly closed, they can do so undisturbed.”

Virseker offers the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Always double check that all your vehicle’s doors, as well as the boot, are properly closed before locking it. If your car isn’t equipped with central locking, make sure that all of these are manually locked.
  • Make sure that the alarm system is armed before leaving your vehicle. Most alarm systems will not sound or will blink the indicator lights in a different way when something prevents them from arming.
  • Limit distractions – avoid being so busy chatting away or checking your phone, that you aren’t focused on locking your car.
  • Be wary of any suspicious individuals watching you closely while you park and/or hanging around close to your vehicle.

“It is, of course, always wise to make sure that your vehicle is comprehensively insured and that portable possessions, like a laptop that may be temporarily stored in your vehicle, are adequately covered,” concludes Twilley.