Don’t leave valuables in cars or on the beach

A screenshot of CCTV footage showing a man leaning into a car after he had smashed the window with a spark plug.

Fish Hoek police are cautioning motorists to not leave any valuable items in their cars as there has been an increase in theft out of motor vehicles.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Peter Middleton said CCTV camera footage shows suspects “eyeing out” cars to see what valuables have been left inside.

He said perpetrators will walk past a parked car a few times while pretending to be on their phones. Once they have identified a car, they will walk past the car a few more times to make sure no one is around.

They then throw a spark plug through the window and as the window shatters, they walk off to make sure no one has noticed. If no one has noticed, they break open the shattered window and take the items from the car.

Warrant Officer Middelton said beachgoers should also be vigilant when they go swimming and not leave any valuable items in their bags or leave their bags unattended on the beach.

He said residents withdrawing money at ATMs, especially at the Standard Bank and FNB ATMs on Main Road, should be vigilant.

“Make sure there are no other people around when withdrawing money and don’t accept help from anyone,” he said.

He also said residents are still being scammed by people calling and pretending to be from their banks and at least two cases of fraud are reported every day.

He said a bank will never ask a customer for a one-time password (OTP) or their PIN.

“If you receive a call from someone saying they are from your bank and that someone is attempting an illegal transaction on your account and they need your PIN or an OTP number, hang up and go to your nearest branch immediately,” he said.

He also urges residents to properly record their valuables such as electronic items and jewellery. Record the make and model of electronic devices and take photographs of valuable items so they can easily be identified later, he said.