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06 November 2011 at 10:40 - Posted by Anonymous

Editor victim of dirty-click stealing tricks


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04/11/2011. Pretoria News editor Zingisa Mkhuma interogating the thief who was ransacking her car. Picture:CCTV
04/11/2011. The thief tries to go to the getaway car after seeing the Pretoria News editor Zingisa Mkhuma . Picture:CCTV
04/11/2011. A thief opens the boot of the Pretoria News editor Zingisa Mkhuma with the aid of the getaway car blocking the view of the camera. Picture:CCTV

THIEVES using ordinary gate remotes to block the signal that locks a vehicle are continuing with their relentless torture of unsuspecting motorists.

The Pretoria News editor, Zingisa Mkhuma, recently fell victim to a gang using the same modus operandi. After parking her car at a petrol station in Midrand, Mkhuma stepped out of the car and, without thinking twice, pressed her car remote to lock it and walked away.
 
As she got out, there was a man who walked past, pretending to be on the phone. After she disappeared, a yellow Mercedes Benz Vito parked next to her car and the very same man walked to Mkhuma’s car and opened the door. After helping himself to the cell phone on the front seat, the thief moved to the boot where Mkhuma’s bag was.
 
While the thief was about to help himself to the contents of the bag to give to his colleagues in the Vito, Mkhuma walked back and the thug closed the boot and walked away.
 
“I called him and asked what he was doing. He told me he thought it was his mother’s car,” said Mkhuma.
 
The lout then walked away and got into the Vito as his friends were hooting to attract his attention.
 
Mkhuma checked her handbag and, without suspecting that anything was amiss, walked into the store as the car drove away. She realised later that her cell phone had been stolen.
 
“Being robbed or mugged is not a pleasant thing, it doesn’t matter how small the item is. What is sad about our situation is that once in a while criminals will show you how vulnerable you are,” said Mkhuma.
 
She said the incident also made her realise that people in Gauteng will not lift a finger to help you.
 
“It was one of those moments where you realise how alone you are because nobody really bothers about the next person in Gauteng.
 
“You are all by yourself and you have to make a decision there and then, whether you confront the criminals or just cut your losses, as I did, and walk away.”
 
Mkhuma said the lesson is that one can never be too careful.
 
“There seems to be a crook in each and every nook and cranny of our society – there is just no place where you can say you are safe.
 
”The reason why I am going public is to warn others about this trend, which has moved from just being random attacks to organised crimes involving people driving luxury cars,” she said.
 
Police have confirmed that a case has been opened but no arrests have been made.
 
The said thieves use ordinary gate remotes to prevent people from locking their cars.
 
It has been established that the problem is that most car and gate remotes operate on the same frequency and the signals cancel each other out when pressed simultaneously. - Pretoria News
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