Thefts out of vehicles on the rise in Rondebosch

Always physically check that your vehicle is locked so that you don’t fall prey to thieves using remote-jamming devices, say the police.

Theft out of vehicles is on the increase in Rondebosch, according to the Groote Schuur Community Improved District (GSCID), which is urging the public to be vigilant, lock their cars and not leave valuables in plain sight.

In its latest newsletter, the CID reports an 18.8% increase in crime in the GSCID area, with a spike in theft out of vehicles in Rondebosch.

There were nine thefts out of vehicles last month, between the rugby stadium, Belmont Bridge and Main Road and the railway line, according to CID operations manager Barbara Breedt.

They mostly happened at night and side windows were broken, she said.

“Theft out of motor vehicles was one of the challenges in April, as people are still leaving cameras, GPS units, laptops, cellphones and clothing in their cars. In addition, they are parking in the street at night despite having a garage or secure parking behind locked gates,” said Rondebosch police spokesman Warrant Officer Lyndon Sisam.

Burglaries had also increased marginally, he said.

Remote jamming – where a device is used to block or jam the locking device of a vehicle – was one way thieves got into vehicles, he said, advising people to physically check their car door and boot were locked.

“Remove valuable items from your vehicle when you park it, park your vehicle inside your property where possible and activate the alarm. Make sure all your doors are locked before walking away from your car (even if just for a few minutes). Activate your car alarm, when it is parked and when driving, make sure all your doors are locked.”

Tips to prevent burglary

• Don’t leave outside lights on the whole day.

• Don’t leave electronic items near an open window.

• Lock all outside doors and windows before leaving the house or going to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.

• Keep the garage door closed and locked and link your alarm to it. Use curtains on garage and basement windows.

• Do not allow daily deliveries of mail or newspapers while you are away.

• Dispose of any packaging for electrical appliances you purchased and place it in a black refuse bag to avoid showing criminals what appliance you have in your house.

• When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.

Tips to avoid falling victim to scams and fraud:

• Never respond to emails or cellphone messages appearing to be from your bank that request your personal details.

• Never provide your online ID, password, or PIN to anyone and never write them down.

• Do not save your internet banking password on your desktop. Do not leave your computer unattended after you have entered your internet banking password. Always log off or sign off at the end of a session.

• Avoid doing internet banking in public areas such as internet cafés, or on any computer that can be accessed by people you do not know.

• Change your PIN and passwords frequently.

• Put sensible transaction limits on your accounts.

• Only provide your credit card details to reputable companies. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.

Rondebosch police station’s new contact number is 021 685 6600/1.

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