With year-end fast approaching, some shops are already selling festive goods and it is not long before the sounds of Jingle Bells will be heard throughout shopping malls. “While the festive atmosphere usually makes everyone feel good and ready to spend money, shoppers must remember that the season to be jolly is also the season to be vigilant,” says Michelle Conradie, GM of the Tintswalo Property Group (Tintswalo).
The criminal tendency of jamming car doors to prevent shoppers from locking their car is a trend that is being reported at shopping centres nationwide. When owners unknowingly leave their vehicles unlocked, thieves believe they have free reign to take whatever they please, while motorists often only realise that they had become victim to criminal activities much later on when they discover their valuables are missing.
“As mall owners, Tintswalo Property Group invests a lot of effort and money in protecting shoppers to ensure that they can have peace of mind while shopping at our centres,” continues Conradie.
This is why Tintswalo has installed an anti-jamming device at its Lonehill Shopping Centre to alert security to vehicle lock jamming taking place so that they can react immediately and catch perpetrators. Security guards also patrol the premises and keep an eye out for any suspicious people roaming around the parking area, making sure safety is of the highest class.
Tintswalo’s detection device vibrates when it picks up jamming activity from approximately 100 metres in under cover parking areas and 200 metres in open parking areas. 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.
The anti-jamming device is only one intervention though, therefore Conradie advises shoppers to protect themselves by being careful when they shop in a mall or go to public places. She provides the following tips on public safety against thieving:
• Park your car close to other cars and people to ensure that you do not have to walk alone to and from remote areas.
• Park in a well-lit parking space, 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 the restrooms in a mall, hang your bag from the door hook rather than leaving it on the floor where it can be snatched by thieves lurking in cubicles.
• 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 keys it takes your attention away from what is going on around you.
• When unpacking your trolley at your car, do not leave your bag or keys on the car roof because it can be grabbed by criminals.
• Lock any valuables left in the car in the boot and out of sight.
• Ensure that your children know of a place in the mall where they can safely wait for you should they wander off.
Conradie concludes, “With these tips, shoppers can enjoy their outings and shopping sprees without facing the misfortune of not so friendly festive thieves.
For more information about Tintswalo Property Group visit www.tintswalo.com
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