Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Beware the smash and grab robbers

PETALING JAYA: Smash and grab robbers are among the criminal threats faced by the average Malaysian driver today.

These menace on wheels prey on drivers when they stop at traffic light junctions by smashing the passenger side window of the car and grabbing valuables placed on the passenger seat.

Despite it not being a new ploy, people still continue to fall victim to such smash and grab robbers.

Statistics released by the Royal Malaysian Police showed that smash and grab cases are still contributing to the national crime index.

Smash and grab cases which are classified as snatch theft cases, are a part of the 319 cases of snatch thefts recorded in May and June this year,” said the report.

The reason for this, said Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed, is that most people do not take the necessary steps to protect themselves from smash and grab robbers.

“The obvious one is that people should not place valuables like mobile phones and handbags on the passenger side seat while driving.

“However, there are still many who place valuables on the passenger side seat and make themselves easy targets,” he said recently.

ACP Arjunaidi said it was important for the people not to panic.

“Drivers have to be vigilant at all times and should not panic no matter what happens, so that they know how to respond to a situation,” he said.

Citing a videoclip he was shown recently of a man smashing a car window about 10 times without breaking the glass, he said the woman driver just stared blankly at the man.

“If she was alert and had not panicked, she could have shielded herself from harm and called the police or gone to a safe place,” he said.

He also said basic steps like always being aware of one’s surroundings and keeping valuables out of plain sight helped.

“Tinting windows can also help because the film could prevent the window from shattering easily which would hinder the thieves,” he said.

By M. KUMAR kumar@thestar.com.my The Star/Asia News Network

Be Alert and Vigilance to Stay Safe!

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