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Joggers beware: Car thieves are targeting you

car-theftVisitors to Kuwait’s parks, walking tracks and other public spaces should be careful when leaving their vehicles unattended with valuables inside such as mobile phones, wallets, purses or cash, even for a few minutes. Hundreds of cases of thefts from cars are reported each year in Kuwait and a growing number are targeting cars left at parks and walking tracks.

Abeer, 30, lost her purse with her wallet and other belongings left inside her vehicle when she went for a walk by the seaside. She was shocked that some had broken into her car but without breaking any window, saying she was sure she had locked the doors.

“I parked my car in the public parking lot near the Scientific Center to go for a short walk with my friend, children and maid. As I was wearing a jacket, I only took my mobile and some money and left the wallet and the purse with a few other things in the car and even covered them with a plastic bag. It seems the thief used a slim jim (a device used for unlocking a car) to open the doors and steal the bag,” she told Kuwait Times.

About a month earlier, Emily lost her belongings after leaving her bag in the car that was parked in the same place near the seaside, when she went jogging. The lot is dark and is not monitored, so it’s ideal for thieves. “I think I locked my vehicle. I didn’t want to carry my purse when going for a short time jogging, so I left it in the car. When I came back after less than an hour, I didn’t find my purse. This will be a lesson for me not to leave my bag in the car in the future, no matter for how long I’m leaving the vehicle,” Emily rued.

Almost daily, reports of vehicle break-ins are recorded in Kuwait and quite often thieves steal cash or other valuables. Another place vehicles are often targeted are mosques, where worshippers are often gone for a specified period of time and thieves can easily break into cars while they are in the mosque for prayers.

Last year, the Ministry of Interior arrested a gang specialized in robbing vehicles, but the thefts continue unabated. Some of the most popular places where these car robberies take place are parking lots near walking paths in areas such as Mishref, Rumaithiya and Sabah Al Salem, and the seaside Corniche in Salmiya.

Also, people have reported their vehicles have been broken into in the public parking lot near Mubarakiya. It’s clear that thieves are aware that these parking lots are not under surveillance, so they feel safe robbing the vehicles, believing they won’t get caught.

So never leave valuables unattended in your vehicle, and never leave your car with the engine running even while going to the baqala for a minute, as many cases of cars being driven off by thieves have also been reported.

By Nawara Fattahova

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