Car thefts spike, cops say

There’s been a spike in thefts from vehicles in the lower parts of Oakdale and the CBD in the past few weeks, say Bellville police.

Bellville police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Henrietta van Niekerk said motorists were still leaving valuables in plain sight.

“Theft can occur at any time, so it is important not to present an easy opportunity to thieves. In order to steal, thieves will smash a car window or break locks, and the cost to repair may exceed the value of the stolen items,” she said.

Money, wallets, credit cards, tools, cellphones, electronic devices, handbags, jewellery and sunglasses, were items commonly stolen.

Oakdale Watch chairman Tommy Milakovic says the crimes often happen during the day.

“They do it in broad daylight and no one sees it taking place,” he said.

However, some vehicle break-ins had happened at night at clubs.

“There are still too many people who leave their cars parked outside their residences overnight. We keep repeating this but people need to be more vigilant as to where they park and what is happening around them.”

Warrant Officer Van Niekerk had this advice:

If you must leave valuables in your car, place them in your boot without being seen.

Do not leave house keys or garage door openers in your car; they may be stolen and used in home burglaries.

Always physically check your car is locked, even when parking at home or just leaving your car for a moment.

Close all windows – including sunroofs.

Park in a locked garage or off the street in your driveway if you don’t have a garage.

Park in a well-lit area.