The Electric New Paper :
$5,000 poorer in 20 mins
By Veena Bharwani
18 June 2009
WHENEVER he goes shopping in Johor Baru, he leaves his car locked, but with his valuables in the back seat.
It is something Mr Md Aliff says he does 'all the time'.
The 23-year-old studio engineer's habit finally proved costly last Sunday when his Toyata Wish was broken into while he was shopping with his family in Johor Baru.
The Singaporean lost more than $5,000 worth of belongings, comprising two laptops, two memory cards, an iPod Classic, a Nokia 6280 handphone and a hard drive.
He said he goes to JB at least twice a month to shop.
On Sunday, he drove up to JB with his mother, two younger brothers, two aunts and two uncles. The family was attending another aunt's housewarming party in Taman Tampoi Indah, a 15-minute drive from the Woodlands Checkpoint.
He recalled: 'We got there after noon and after several hours all of us wanted to shop at a nearby shopping centre called Kipmart, a three-minute drive from my aunt's place.'
Mr Md Aliff said it was his first visit to this particular shopping centre.
When he drove his MPV to the open carpark of the shopping centre at about 5pm, it was filled with vehicles.
Just before he and his family left the car, Mr Md Aliff took his backpack from the trunk of the car and placed it on the back row seat of his MPV.
His belongings were in the backpack.
He said: 'My car windows are tinted and I thought it was safer to leave my belongings in the back seat because people can't look in.
'Also, I had a lot of food in the boot of my car at the time, and I didn't want my laptop to get dirty.'
He had another laptop in a case on the same seat. 'I then placed a cushion over the bag to further conceal it before locking the car,' he said.
When the family returned to the car less than 20 minutes later, none of them noticed anything amiss.
The lock of the car did not appear to have been tampered with, he said.
'I was in a hurry to go back to Singapore as my father needed the car. So I didn't check the back seat to see if my backpack was still there,' he said.
He only realised something was wrong when he reached his office in Woodlands.
He said: 'I asked my younger brother to give me my backpack as he was seated in the back seat, but he said there was nothing there.
'The entire backpack and the extra laptop placed below the backpack was gone.'
It was then that he realised that something was not right with the locking system of the car.
'I tried to lock the car but the lock on the driver's side was jammed. That was when I knew someone had broken into the car.'
He said he knew that JB is not always safe but didn't really think he would be affected.
He said: 'I thought if I locked my car and placed my bag under cushions, it was enough.'
He said it is more convenient to take his valuables along to JB as it is easier to go to his office in Woodlands after returning.
He lives in Jurong.
He said he plans to make a police report soon.
While JB police data show that crime rates in JB have improved over the past few months, the public is frequently warned to be careful.
In early May, JB's South district police chief, Assistant Commissioner Zainuddin Yaakob, became a victim of robbery himself.
China Press reported that ACP Zainuddin, who is in his 40s, was surprised by robbers in his home in Damansara Alif early in the morning.
When the robbers broke in, he and his family members were sound asleep. He woke up when he felt a blade against his throat.
The district police chief watched helplessly as the robbers ransacked his home before leaving with RM10,500 ($6,000) worth of valuables and cash, including jewellery and RM700 from ACP Zainuddin's wallet.
ACP Zainuddin, his wife and two children were unharmed.
now... this is what i call stupid.... i cannot tahan ppl that are so damn stupid and not street smart at all. stupid stupid stupid... lemme highlight a few stupid points:
"WHENEVER he goes shopping in Johor Baru, he leaves his car locked, but with his valuables in the back seat."
"Just before he and his family left the car, Mr Md Aliff took his backpack from the trunk of the car and placed it on the back row seat of his MPV."
"'Also, I had a lot of food in the boot of my car at the time, and I didn't want my laptop to get dirty.'
He had another laptop in a case on the same seat. 'I then placed a cushion over the bag to further conceal it before locking the car,' he said."
"He said: 'I thought if I locked my car and placed my bag under cushions, it was enough.'"