Clever car thieves are targeting busy times on campus to break into parked vehicles and manager of the Campus Protection Unit, David Charteris, warned that older-model cars were again being targeted. He was commenting after two men were arrested after two attempted car thefts on campus on Sunday night. "There is a fair amount of skill involved," said Charteris, who described how crooks, posing as students, used a sharpened metal tool to override car locks with brute force.
To a passerby it looked like they were opening their own car with a key. Once inside the car, the thieves used the same tool to start the ignition. "They don't smash windows or anything, so it looks normal and no one suspects anything," Charteris said.
Charteris said two suspected car thieves were apprehended on Sunday night in a joint operation by the Campus Protection Unit and Hi Tech Security, after two attempted car thefts.
One vehicle had already been stolen and parked in Rose Street and the two suspects were caught while trying to break into the second car.
Grahamstown police spokesperson, Captain, Mali Govender, said the men were between the ages of 22 and 23 and came from the Mthatha area.
Both vehicles stolen were older-model Volkswagen Golfs. The owner of a white City Golf had parked her car outside the Rhodes African Media Matrix.
When she left, around 11pm, it had disappeared. Older car models that did not have alarms, immobilisers or steering locks were targeted, Charteris said, and even Sunday nights on campus were busy enough to provide cover for thieves who wanted to blend in with the student crowd.