Beware of remote jamming at shopping malls, centres
A South African vehicle tracking and recovery company, Netstar, has warned motorists against thieves who steal from cars parked at shopping malls using the remote jamming method whereby the jamming device is set to the same frequency as your car remote. When you leave your car, the criminals press the button, effectively disabling your remote from locking your doors and boot.
Although the warning has been given to South African motorists, Suburban believes Zimbabwean motorists should also take heed of the advice given the number of cases where some motorists parked at some suburban shopping centres have lost valuables such as laptops, cellphones, tablets, I-pads and cash after their cars were broken into.
In some instances, the victims in Harare reported that they left their car doors locked and armed the car alarms using their remotes but still the criminals managed to open the cars and steal the valuables without breaking windows or doors. There are chances the criminals in Harare might also be using the remote jamming method on their targets.
The ever-present warning signs of remote-jamming at shopping malls, petrol stations and roadside stalls is a constant reminder of the very real threat of crime in South Africa. Perpetrators of car break-ins are rarely caught, making it one of the most common crimes in the country.
“If you haven’t been a victim of remote jamming, chances are that you know someone who has,” says Mike Borello, Operations Executive at Netstar, the pioneers of vehicle tracking and recovery in South Africa. “Furthermore, as there is often no damage or signs of a break-in, insurers can refuse to cover the stolen items,” he adds.
Borello explains that remote-jamming criminals go from one shopping mall to the next, often in luxury vehicles, and wait for their victims to arrive.
The jamming device, which looks very similar to a remote control and is usually hidden in a cigarette box, is set to the same frequency as your car remote. Once you exit your vehicle the criminals press the button, effectively blocking your remote control from locking the vehicle.
“The perpetrator walks up to the vehicle and removes the valuables from inside,” says Borello. “There’s seemingly nothing suspicious about their actions, and we have seen on camera footage how some perpetrators don’t even flee the scene. They get into their vehicle and wait for the next victim.”
As thieves become increasingly resourceful it is up to vehicle owners to ensure their vehicle and belongings remain safe. Some tracking technologies can detect signals from potential jamming devices in the vicinity of where the targeted vehicle is parked.
“The moment the device fitted in your vehicle detects a remote-jammer signal, Netstar notifies you via SMS and this allows you to ensure that the vehicle is locked, but also to be aware of any danger close by,” Says Borello.
“This technology pro-actively prevents losses to clients. It not only provides clients with peace of mind, but also plays a role in preventing insurance fraud,” Borello concludes. – Suburban Reporter/netstar.co.za
Robber hits Greendale resident with car before stealing laptop
A Greendale resident was robbed of his laptop, cash and other valuables by a lone thief who hit him with the car he was driving on Wednesday evening in the suburb before grabbing his laptop bag while he lay on the ground and sped off.
The resident who identified himself only as Don of Greengrove Drive said the incident took place around 6pm when he was coming from work.
The robber was driving a BMW 320i without registration numbers and the incident took place at the corner of Cecil Road and Marion Edwards. – Suburban Reporter
Police blame rise in crime on serial armed robbers freed on bail
Police strongly believe some of the country’s suspected serial armed robbers who are out on bail pending trials or appeals, are behind a spate of recent criminal activities in the country.
There has been a marked increase in armed robberies in country in recent weeks with robbers getting away with huge sums of money.
Last week, armed robbers stole seven trunks of cash that had been collected from Choppies supermarket chain branches in Bulawayo and made off with $194 287; US$11 315; R35 595 and 25 pula, after firing several shots during the raid.
Early Sunday morning, six armed robbers blocked a Harare man with their two getaway cars movie style near the intersection of Aspindale and Glasgow roads and robbed him of US$17 800 cash. Police sources say some of the notorious armed robbery suspects who have skipped bail Spicer Takawira (28) and Musafare Mupamhanga, are among those behind recent heists.
“We strongly suspect that they are behind masterminding these armed robbery cases,” said a police source.
He said they were now hunting for the suspects since most of them were issued with warrants of arrest. Last week, one of the country’s suspected serial armed robbers and former Masvingo Central police officer, Rudolf Kanhanga alias Tapiwa Munatsi (29), who exchanged gunfire with a police crack team in an attempt to evade arrest with his accomplices in Beitbridge last year, was granted $2 000 bail at the High Court.
Along with Musa Taj Abul and other gang members, the suspected robbers were arrested in dramatic fashion in Beitbridge last year, with dog teams playing a leading role. – The Herald