News about stolen or snatched cars from car owners is not a new thing in Nigeria, as we hear about it frequently. However, there is a new, worrisome dimension to the whole issue that is causing car owners to be extra cautious today.
1. What are the tricks of car thieves/ robbers in weddings and social events?
You might have heard of cars going missing during social gatherings such as weddings, birthday parties, or other social and public events. Unfortunately, it’s all true. Car thieves seem to have added another twist to their gimmicks as social events are now especially targeted by these nefarious characters. They are no longer snatching cars on the road at gun point, but using tricks when the car owner s feeling very relaxed among family and friends at a happy occassion.
Weddings are happy occassions but a robbery can quickly make it far less joyous
A Twitter user used the platform to give a warning regarding this new modus operandi robbers are now employing to cart away automobiles where car owners least expect it. According to the twitter user, handle @uncle_ajala, car users should all be careful as these criminals are getting smarter each day. He prayed that people won't be unfortunate to fall victim to ‘armed robbers, one chance people and fraudsters’ but instead be very vigilant.
In his own words:
“In a wedding party or public gathering, robbers now meet the MC to make an announcement about a particular car, with registration number so so and so, blocking them. While you go out to move your car, some guys are waiting outside for you with a gun.
“They know you have the keys of your car. You are then ordered to ride the car out of the compound with them inside already with you.”
He went furthered to advise car users to practice certain safety precautions when summoned in a social gathering about car parking issues.
2. How to avoid car thieves/ robbers in weddings or social events?
Building on his admonition, Naijauto.com shares further tips and safety measures on how to avoid falling prey to these day-car-hunters in social gatherings.
Take your time
When your car number plate is mentioned by the MC or the announcer, do not rush off or even stand immediately. Just take your time. Survey the environment and make sure it is legit. If you stand up immediately the announcement is made, you will be marked and perhaps afterward followed and ambushed.
Do not make the mistake of going alone to check the status of your vehicle when it's called on the PA. Bring along a friend or better two. When your would be assailant sees you are not alone, he should back off.
Scrutinize your environment
When you are out, observe your environment and be alert to any suspicious activity. Look around to know if you suspect any faces that might be observing you particularly as this could indicate some danger.
When you are rich and famous you can be a target for car thieves
Check your car position
When you do go out, don't go directly to where your car is parked. From afar, determine if the blocking that was mentioned is true. Check if there is a vehicle behind or in front of yours; make sure there is a driver sitting in it before walking close. If possible don't just go directly to where the car is parked, stroll around like you don't know where the car is to clear your certainty before going over.
In case you see enough to suspect foul play or where the environment seems odd, go for back up. Go back to the event, talk to organizers to look into it. Also if it's truly a genuine call, the driver of the said vehicle will inform the MC or the announcer to announce it again.
Park your car yourself
There are cases where you might attend an event that has a valet. If you don't feel safe about their services, then respectfully indicate that you would like to do the parking yourself. They will probably understand as car robbery has become a major concern to many car owners.
Be careful with your car key
In the heat of the event and merriment, you might be lost in the fun and less conscious of your car key. Put it on your pocket or purse. Do not make the mistake of tossing it on the event table. You never can tell when you are a target, the minute you take your eyes off it, it may be the last time you see the key - or your car.
Don't be too engrossed with fun that you forget where you are
It’s unfortunate that such precautions are necessary these days, but observing some degree of caution today will save you a sorry story tomorrow.