Gone in just 2 hours

A routine trip to Johor turned into a nightmare for a Singaporean couple after their car was stolen.

Mr Tengku Kamarudin Abdullah, 63, and wife Madam Fauziah Mohamed Ali, 59, were having lunch at a friend's home in Skudai on Sept 18 when the incident occurred. They had just finished shopping in Johor Baru.

Mr Kamarudin, a taxi driver, had parked their silver Toyota Mark X two units away from their friend's house when they arrived at around 1.30pm. When the couple were about to leave two hours later, the car was gone.

Mr Kamarudin told The New Paper: "We didn't even hear anything. We only stepped out of my friend's house and realised the vehicle wasn't there."

Their Toyota has a standard remote locking system. The couple lost all their groceries and a library book Madam Fauziah had left in the car, but no other valuables were lost.

She said: "We never leave our valuables in the car. I had my passport stolen from a car once, 15 years ago, and from then we always keep our valuables with us."

Mr Kamarudin said that the car belongs to his eldest daughter and son-in-law.The couple filed a report with Malaysian police immediately and with Singapore police the next day.

Their eldest daughter, Madam Tengku Suhailah Tengku Kamarudin, 34, told TNP that they bought the second-hand car only last December.

"My husband travels a lot for his job, so my parents use the car more often," she said.

She added that her parents would drive to Johor once or twice a month to do their grocery shopping. She said they had no plans to get a new car.

Car thefts are becoming a common occurrence in Malaysia, and Singaporeans have fallen victim several times.

Malaysian newspaper The Star reported last month that about 138 vehicles are stolen in Malaysia every day.

S'poreans losing cars in Malaysia

JUNE 7, 2016

A Toyota Estima belonging to a Singaporean was reported missing at Plaza Angsana on June 7, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported.

The Toyota and five other cars were recovered after Malaysian police busted a car theft syndicate that used a master key to disable car security systems.

Seven people were arrested between June 15 and 17.

MAY 16, 2016

Animal welfare activist Derrick Tan's Toyota Mark X was stolen in Johor Bahru while he was getting a massage at Jalan Serampang on May 16.

The Straits Times reported that Mr Tan, 35, had to pay a four-figure sum to car theft syndicates to retrieve his car 24 hours later.

SEPT 11, 2015

Housewife Nur Suliana, 28, had her black Honda City stolen while she was doing her grocery shopping at Perling Mall in Johor Baru.

According to Ms Suliana, who managed to review nearby CCTV footage, the car thief - whom she described as a medium-built, dark-skinned man - carried out the theft alone in about 20 minutes.

AUG 24, 2015

Mr Yunos Salajudin's white Toyota Estima went missing after he parked it at Giant Tampoi Mall for half an hour.

To his surprise, Malaysian police contacted him in October to inform him that his car had been seized in a drug bust.

He was finally reunited with his car on Dec 31 last year.

This article was first published on September 23, 2016.
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