I visit Malaysia about once a month with the fiance for groceries, shopping, dining and sometimes even prawning or fishing. We have been across the Causeway multiple times and it was only yesterday that our complacency was exposed and led to a car break-in. We usually go to malls like KSL, Holiday Plaza, Tebrau City etc and nothing untoward has happened before.
Yesterday, the fiance decided to visit other malls and I believe the car was broken into while we were shopping at The Store. He had parked the car at the outdoor carpark – the sun was blisteringly hot and we had thought no one in their right mind would try anything funny in broad daylight and under the hot sun.
We were wrong.
We came back to find the car unlocked. Thankfully the car was still around. And our stuff were largely intact, or so we thought.
Only after getting back home in SG did I realize that a pair of my wedges were missing (I left them in the car and wore slippers because the latter would be more comfortable for shopping) and the thief had stolen my newly bought Hello Kitty tee and handphone accessories! The audacity!
Strangely enough, the fiance’s brand-new Samsung S3 Mini was still in the car, and so was his Braun Buffel bag (transferred from the boot to the backseat, no less!)
This is so mind-boggling and crazy that I have no explanation for this. I swear the thief is trying to mess with our heads. Why take my Hello Kitty tee and shoes instead of the handphone or branded bag??? (@_@)
It’s so difficult to understand that I shall not even try to.
The rest of our groceries and valuables (compact camera, GPS, cashcards, etc) were INTACT. And I guess we were considerably lucky this time, compared to other Singaporeans who have gotten killed, injured, robbed, or had their cars stolen (or windows broken or otherwise).
A quick check online proved that crime in JB has been nothing but frequent.
On mycarforum.com, a commentor wrote that “Car break ins in jb is as common as cars breaking down in sg all along“. Often, there would be “no sign of forced entry”, thus showing how skilled the thieves are.
Another site, virtualtourist.com, offers up even more insights about Malaysia, like policemen who determine how much to fine you for “speeding” (usually a false charge) based on how much is in your wallet (I will carry two wallets if I have to go into JB again! If mugged, I will hand over the wallet with just a little cash too). Usually, one can get away from corrupt police officers by just handing over RM50 to pay the “fine”.
Also, do check out InSing.com’s ’10 high-crime places in Johor to avoid’.
Lessons learnt from this strange incident:
– Don’t leave ANYTHING in the car – we had allowed our purchases to pile up in the back seats and we were simply inviting trouble
– Don’t leave passports or valuables in the car – we didn’t do that but it’s a good reminder
– Leave your laptops at home, not in your car boot
– Don’t leave your MPVs or SUVs unattended
– Taman Sentosa and City Square have been deemed unsafe – perhaps ‘cos Singaporeans love heading to these two places
– Park only in well-lit areas, with patrolling guards and ensure vehicle is securely locked
– Avoid heading into Malaysia unless absolutely necessary
i think that us Singaporeans have gotten too complacent due to the sense of security we get from living in Singapore. So if you are heading into JB, please be reminded not to drive a flashy car or do anything to attract unwanted attention to yourself or your vehicle.
As for me, I’m staying away and mourning the loss of my Hello Kitty tee. 😛 Hopefully, it goes to someone too poor to afford clothes and not end up in a bin or something or I shall be most upset with the thief indeed! 😛