Car window smashed, bag stolen in JB

SMASHED: The thief had broken the passenger window.

He warned his friends not to take safety for granted in Johor Baru, but had his own bag stolen when he left it under the driver's seat of his friend's car.

Someone broke into the white Volkswagen Tiguan by smashing the window while Mr Lim and his friends were eating at a restaurant nearby.

The 40-year-old church worker, who worked in JB from 2010 until early this year, said: "I was embarrassed. This is a lesson for me because I thought I knew the place so well. I didn't think such a thing could happen to me in JB."

Fortunately, Mr Lim had not left any valuable items in his bag. It contained his house keys, a bottle of kimchi, two buns and his international driving permit, which carries his home address.

Mr Lim and the car owner declined to have their full names published, because of safety concerns.

The car break-in took place last Wednesday evening at Jalan Bestari 2/2, which is about 15km from the Woodlands Causeway.

Mr Lim and four of his friends reached Jalan Bestari around 9pm, after shopping at the Aeon Bukit Indah Shopping Centre.

They had arrived in JB at 1pm, with Mr Lim, who knows JB roads well, at the wheel.

During the ride, Mr Lim even showed his friends a copy of the Oct 31 edition of The New Paper, which carried a front page report on a Singaporean couple who were robbed there.

Said Mr Lim: "I told my friends that it is important to stay alert and be aware of the danger of crime in JB.

"The car boot was full after we put in the shopping bags, so I rolled up my sling bag and stowed it under the driver's seat before driving to Jalan Bestari.

In hindsight, I should not have done that."

Inside the restaurant, the group sat at a table next to the window so that the car, which was about 50m away, was in sight.

But they did not see what was happening as they ate.

The car owner, a housewife who wanted to be known only as Madam Yeo, 62, said: "After dinner, we were walking back to the car when my sister- in-law suddenly screamed loudly. I thought she had seen a rat."

SHATTERED

But it turned out that her sister-in-law had been startled by the sight of the shattered front passenger window.

The next morning, Madam Yeo made a police report at the Bukit Timah Neighbourhood Police Post and sent her car for repair at the workshop. The police confirmed the report.

Said Madam Yeo: "Thank goodness nobody was hurt and the car was not stolen.

"Although Mr Lim said he did not lose anything valuable, it was a hassle to change his front door lock and padlock as his house keys had been stolen and the thieves had his address."

Mr Lim said: "The incident doesn't deter me from going to JB as I have many friends there, but I hope Singaporeans going there will not take safety for granted."

Two days later, on Friday, another Singaporean had her car window smashed at the Aeon Tebrau City Shopping Centre.

She had parked at the open carpark around 2.30pm and returned to find the window on the front passenger side smashed.

The audio system had been partially pried out and the dashboard had been forced open.

She told Stomp that the camera installed in her car shows that the break in occurred around 3pm. She thinks the thief was trying to steal the audio system but failed.

No valuables were stolen.

She said: "Just a warning to all Singaporean drivers, please exercise caution when in Johor Baru. Many similar cases have been reported so far."


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