In the build-up to the festive season, at least one shopping centre is beefing up its security with a device that can detect remote jamming devices.
Remote jammers work by disrupting the signal from a car remote which stops the car from being locked.
Many motorists walk away from their car while pressing their remote, which allows thieves to simply walk up to the car and remove your valuables.
However, there is a device that can detect when these jammers are being used.
The Lonehill Shopping Centre, owned by the Tintswalo Property Group, is one shopping destination that will be using such a device with the festive season approaching.
Michelle Conradie, general manager of the group, said: “Tintswalo’s detection device vibrates when it picks up jamming activity from as far as 100 metres away in undercover parking areas and 200 metres in open parking areas,” said .
Security guards will then look out for any suspicious activity in their area and log the incident.
“At the end of each day, a thorough reconciliation is taken of every activation picked up on the device, and the device history is kept on file in case of future complaints from shoppers,” Conradie said.
Last week, the manager of the motor division at the SA Insurance Association, Dawie Buys, said the majority of insurers would not pay out for theft by car jamming.
He said this was because there were no signs of “violent and forcible entry” into the vehicle when jammers are used.
Conradie said: “While the festive atmosphere usually makes everyone feel good and spend money, shoppers must remember that the season to be jolly is also the season to be vigilant,” said Conradie.
Other ways to be vigilant while shopping this festive season include:
Park your car close to other vehicles and people to ensure that you don’t have to walk alone to and from remote parking areas.
Park in a well-lit parking area, especially at night.
Ensure that you keep your bag closed at all times when walking around in public and never leave your bag unattended in a trolley while you shop.
When you visit restrooms in a mall, hang your bag from the cubicle door’s hook or knob rather than leaving it on the floor where it can be snatched by thieves from underneath.
Never leave your bag hanging over the back of your chair at a restaurant as it makes an easy target for criminals passing by.
Do not carry large amounts of money for shopping. Where possible, rather use a debit or credit card.
Have your key ready when walking to your car. If you have to stand and search for your key, it takes your attention away from what is going on around you.
When unpacking your trolley at your car, don’t leave your bag or keys on the car roof because they can be grabbed by criminals.
Lock any valuables in the boot or out of sight.
Ensure that your children know of a place in the mall where they can safely wait for you if they wander off and get lost. - The Star