At the beginning of 90s small leather handbags became fashionable in Russia and a special category of thieves stealing such handbags and other things from cars appeared.
I have a complex device on my desk. Anybody who can do metal work can easily produce such a thing. First I even wanted to photograph it and place its photo in the newspaper, but then I thought I could become the instructor for the thieves putting car owners in trouble.
For this reason, I am not going to describe this device except to mention that it is a small pipe, bent and sharpened in a special way. If this thing is put on the road, it will pierce the vehicle's wheel. If a nail pierces the wheel, the vehicle can continue running and drive a long distance. My friend Slava Spirkov, wheel repair workman says he often finds nails in the tire-covers drivers bring him to repair. However, if this special device pierces the tire – there is 100 per cent guarantee that in 50 meters there will be no air in the tire. The driver will get out of the car, think what to do and will be glad to see a tire repair shop on the side of the road.
Such a story happened to our reader Vasily. He was heading for his native town, passed the town of Voronezh, and in a while realized that the tire was letting out air. Luckily, a tire repair shop was nearby. He unscrewed the tire and was waiting for his turn outside the repair shop constantly watching his car at the same time.
The workman had been busy with other work. Vasily lost his patience, entered the repair shop and asked the workman when he would be attended. The workman replied he was ready to repair Vasily's tire. Vasily went out of the repair shop, locked his car and rolled the wheel to the shop. His car was unattended for less than a minute, but this was enough time for thieves. After leaving that place Vasya discovered that his small leather handbag had been stolen from the car. The handbag contained money, 16,000 rubles, and all of his documents. In exchange for all this Vasily had the pipe the workman took out of the tire.
It is easy to imagine how much trouble the car owner had after that. Having no money and documents far from home, where there are no friends to ask for help.
Vasily is not the one to be criticized. He was more cautious than the majority of car owners because he locked his car before going to the repair shop. Other car owners were more careless which resulted in having their belongings stolen. Three years ago criminal policemen arrested a group of thieves in a big city. The three thieves, Georgians by nationality, had a simple scheme. They approached the office building, chose the better car and put a similar sharp device under the wheel. Later the car owner came, started the car and realized that its wheel let out the air. The driver took a spare wheel out of the boot, and then was replacing the wheel and cursing, not knowing that his car was being searched by thieves at that moment. The thieves were not embarrassed by seeing the car owner next to the vehicle. As a rule, money is kept in the purse. The purse is in the handbag which is kept on the front right seat. The above mentioned Georgian thieves visited that city from time to time and always stole things from many cars next to marketplaces, big stores and office buildings. It was not always necessary for them to pierce wheels – the driver could go to buy groceries without locking the car, hoping in Russian way that perhaps everything would be all right. This hope proved to be false.
In bigger cities thieves are more inventive. The vehicles stopped before the red signal of the traffic light. Pedestrians are crossing the road in front of the cars. Suddenly a boy comes out of the crowd of pedestrians, spits at the face of the driver and runs away. The outraged driver leaves the car and starts following the boy. It is of no importance if he will be able to catch the boy. The driver's belongings from inside his car have already been stolen. It is better to be patient than to lose your property.
Another example: a well-dressed gentleman approaches his car in the parking lot near the office building. He opens his limousine's car, starts the engine; and sees an extremely beautiful girl next to his car. The beauty is talking on the cell phone, a nice leather briefcase is on the ground next to her. The girl stops talking, starts her modest Oka Russian car and starts driving. Her briefcase is still on the ground. Can the genuine knight ignore the beauty in trouble? Of course not, and the knight grabs the briefcase and runs after the beauty. She stops the car, takes the briefcase, and smiles at the knight in gratitude. She has reasons to be happy: she will get good money after selling the car whose owner himself started it and left for the attendance of the dishonest strangers.
In addition, car owners can face such a problem as extortion conducted by children. А boy approaches the car driver in the store parking lot and asks: "Sir, let me watch your car just in case." No? The boy takes no offence. He will just write on the car the word "greedy" with a nail and run away.
Another trick: the driver of the car overtaking you is signaling you and pointing at your wheel. You park your car, and the "well-wisher" tries to help you: he examines the suspicious wheel, but cannot understand where the problem is. The volunteer assistant offers to drive your car for several meters to find the problem. While driving for a few minutes, he takes the driver’s purse out of his bag on the back seat.
In Moscow, the most common trick in summer uses your willingness to help the newcomers who got lost in the capital. When the potential victim is going to drive from the yard parking lot, another car's driver asks how to get to another neighborhood. The man leaves his car to explain the way and then discovers that his purse disappeared from the seat. When there was nobody in the car, the purse was taken by the companion of the "newcomer."
Street thieves conducting swindling tricks almost never work alone. They have groups of 3-4 people. These people play tricks to cheat car owners.
There are groups of thieves working at gas stations. One should know the men offering to fill up your car are not always a gas station workers. In Russia car owners have to go to the station and pay cash for gas, and at big gas stations the driver can wait up to five minutes. For this time the thief manages to steal the belongings inside the car and run away from the scene. Thieves count on the driver's preoccupation with the thoughts how much gas he/she needs and what petrol pump should be used. At this moment the driver forgets about the danger of having his belongings stolen. Gas station thieves take all valuables from inside cars: handbags, bags, cassette recorders and other things. Policemen say such thieves commit.
The moral of the story is simple and was first elicited by our ancestors: watch your property and do not attract thieves!
What one must know not tо have his/her belongings stolen from the car.
1. Remember: you attract potential thieves by leaving bags, parcels and cassette-recorders inside you car. If you do this, on coming back to the car from the store or the friends' house you dropped into you can see the side glass of your car broken and your belongings stolen.
2. You certainly heard of the situations when your car's back wheels (usually the right wheel) let out the air. When you try to replace the wheel, the thief can steal your handbag. Be sure to take your handbag upon leaving the car. Another good option is keeping your handbag and other valuables under the driver's seat.
3. There are cases when you are sitting in your car in a parking lot and another car comes so close to you that you cannot open the driver's door. The driver of that car asks you for directions to some place. The conversation can last only several minutes, and for this time your car's another front door can be quietly opened and the other thief will calmly take the things on the front passenger seat. The recommendations to avoid such trouble can be the same: carry your things under the driver's seat and beware to lock the other car doors.
4. As a rule the thieves stealing your belongings out of your car are good psychologists. Remember the case of the spitting boy. The first natural reaction of the driver was to punish the impudent youngster and he ran out of his car to pursue the boy. The driver's belongings were left in his car unattended. As a rule, the driver cannot catch the teenager who offended him. On coming back to your car you cannot see your belongings left inside it. This kind of trick is commonly played on men-drivers. Be careful!
5. If you have the habit after approaching your metal garage not to turn off the car, but leave it and go to open the garage, remember – you can be watched by thieves. If the criminal learns that you have such a habit, one evening after approaching the garage you can discover its locks are unable to be opened for unknown reasons. During the time you will try to open the locks turning away from your car your belongings can be stolen. Turn off the engine and close the car doors before opening the gardage.
6. Lock the both sides of your metal garage. There are cases when thieves unbent the unlocked side and enter the garage. Then they break the car window and steal the cassette-recorder or something else.
Source: Golos Cherepovtsa newspaper
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia