THIS week we look at a crime commonly referred to by the police as theft from motor vehicle, but ordinarily under our laws this is still a case of theft.
Theft from motor vehicles trends
A general look at the extent to which the crime has been committed indicates that in 2015 a total of 432 cases were recorded by the police, while 443 cases were recorded in 2016 giving an increase by 11 cases. Concern here is not so much of the somehow three percent increase which others would consider insignificant but rather the average of 37 such cases occurring each month. This means at least one person is having property stolen from their vehicle every day in the province.
Factors contributing to the offence
Thefts from motor vehicles occur due to a number of reasons the most common of which include:-
Leaving behind property in improperly secured vehicles.Inattention during carrying of passengers. Entertaining strangers at parking zones/bays. Displaying valuables on dashboards, car seats or leaving them in the hands of children.
Whenever you decide to park vehicles at any given point especially in secluded areas or areas of high population concentration, valuables like cash, jewellery, cell phones, laptops among others should be kept out of view where passers-by cannot see them.
Snatching items on entering the vehicle
Be alert and be on the look-out for people who could possibly be following you especially when you are returning to your vehicles after a shopping or other business.
There have been incidences where criminals pursue an individual knowing very well that there are valuables in their vehicle. The culprits pounce on the victim upon opening doors and make good their escape after grabbing a cell phone or other item and this usually happens during the night.
Entertaining strangers at parking zones
Do not be engaged in loose conversation by people unknown to you at the time of either parking or preparing to take off from a parking area. Always make sure that anyone attempting to engage you in conversation is not attempting to stop or slow down the process of securing your vehicle.
Picking/carrying passengers in your vehicle
We have often discouraged the habit of carefree picking of passengers during journeys. Some passengers end up taking along with them your property. Secure your property in your vehicle first whenever there is need to pick passengers.
Leaving passengers in the vehicle
Do not always leave a passenger(s) alone inside your vehicle when you have to attend to some other business.
Thefts of cellphones on car chargers
Thefts especially of cell phones have also occurred between passengers in a vehicle where a passenger requests the driver or vehicle owner to place his/her cell phone on charge in the vehicle.
Inserted by ZRP Manicaland Press and Public Relations