Two men and three women aged between 17 and 45 have been arrested for their suspected involvement in theft from taxis and private-hire cars. There has been an average of five such thefts a month for the period from January to last month.
Police said yesterday that the suspects rode as passengers and distracted the drivers by engaging them in conversation or requesting them to load or unload items into or from the car boot.
"They are believed to have used these opportunities to steal items, such as wallets and mobile phones, placed at or near the centre console of the vehicle," said police.
Cabbies and private-hire car drivers are advised not to put personal valuables, including mobile phones, at or near the vehicles' centre consoles or places within easy reach of passengers. Police have also urged drivers to be vigilant in order to safeguard their personal valuables.
Drivers should be wary of anyone who may try to distract them.
Those who have information related to this crime can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
This article was first published on Dec 27, 2016. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.