Car theft devastating

Henry Parsons

June went out with a bang with the British Lions pulling off a remarkable victory against the All Blacks in New Zealand, sardines appearing and disappearing along our coast and the Sharks losing their dentures in the game against the Blue Bulls right here on their home ground in Durban. The Tour de France started on Saturday and the turmoil in politics continue in the United Kingdom and USA.

The July school holidays have started and the weather has been just about perfect to welcome the migration of visitors from upcountry to the coast. All seems well and good from a distance though.

Can anyone shed light on the mysterious road painting that can be seen on the R102 between Pennington and Rocky Bay? Almost every pothole has a painted number. These painted numbers start in Pennington and the highest number is in the mid-forties just past the bridge over the Mzimayi stream. On such a busy road, someone must have seen who was responsible for this.

Why the numbers I wonder? I feel compelled to share my experiences of the past week with readers of this column. As mentioned earlier, all seems to be reasonably well in Alexander County but, this observation does not stand up to scrutiny upon closer inspection.

My Toyota Etios was recently stolen after I had parked the car opposite the Shell garage in Cordiner Street, the street that leads down from Scott Street to the beach. There was no parking in the main street at the time, and, with the holiday makers having descended upon Scottburgh, parking is going to continue to be a problem in town. The last view I had of the car was at 10.15am.

Thirty-five minutes later the car was driven away to who knows where! CCTV footage from the cameras at the Shell garage recorded the entire sequence of events.

The modus operandi of this gang is as follows.

Their car, in this case a silver VW Polo, with the registration number ND 369371, parks next to the target vehicle. Without exiting the car, arms protrude from the window as they apparently try a variety of remotes to trigger a response from the vehicle they intend to steal. In my case, the remotes failed, so a black male exited the Polo and stood next to the driver’s door of my Toyota and tried to open the door using many different keys.

He eventually succeeded in opening the door, entered the car and spent a few minutes fiddling inside the car, possibly looking to see whether the vehicle was fitted with a tracker. He then drove off with my car that included my laptop.

Devastating it is and only those who have been affected in this manner, truly understand the impact this has on one. Information received was that a mere 50 minutes after my car was stolen, the very same silver polo was in action at the Scottburgh Mall.

They were seen acting suspiciously and, when approached, these criminals drove off. According to my information, during this past week, three vehicles were stolen from Scottburgh and one from Umkomaas while, at least two vehicles were targeted by this gang, but they sped off before they could complete their dastardly deed.

Three common factors – a silver Polo ND 369371, the modus operandi and all the vehicles were Toyotas. Persons higher up the knowledge tree of car security than I, have stated categorically that these cars cannot be driven away unless the criminals have the coded key for that car.

The source must be “Central”, by implication this means the Toyota factory. Factory fitted security is no guarantee that your car will not be stolen, no matter the make, but those who own Toyota vehicles are especially vulnerable. I speak from experience!

Henry Parsons

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