Sharjah: Sharjah Police have shared guidelines for the public to protect themselves against tricks used by pickpockets as well as those used to steal items from cars.
One such trick, called ‘spit and shift’ is used by culprits who intentionally spit on the victim and then pretend to clean the victim’s dress, while using the other hand to steal valuables from the victim.
Last Tuesday, Sharjah Police launched an electronic awareness campaign titled ‘Caution is a duty’ with the aim of educating the public about ways to protect their belongings, as part of the Ministry of Interior’s strategy aimed at strengthening security and public safety.
The campaign highlights safety measures and steps to prevent theft. It sheds light on the various fraudulent methods — both physical and electronic — used by thieves. Colonel Omar Sultan Bualzoud, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, said the ‘Caution is a Duty’ campaign, which was launched electronically, aims to enhance security awareness among all members of the society, by alerting them not to fall prey to tricks that criminals often resort to, such as spitting or sneezing on clothes or pretending to guide one to a purported problem with a vehicle, and such other trickery.
Col Bualzoud stressed the need to pay attention to properly locking vehicles and not leave them open or not keep the engine running idle even for a few minutes, not to park vehicles in dark places and out of sight, and to be careful not to leave valuables exposed inside vehicles. If any item is stolen from a vehicle, police have urged the vehicle owner to avoid tampering with anything until police arrive.
Col Bualzoud also urged the public not to hesitate to report any suspicious activity they may notice while withdrawing money from a bank or ATM. They can call Sharjah Police on the toll free Najeed number 800151. Residents can also call the police Operations Room on 999 for emergency cases and 901 for non–emergencies.
How to prevent theft:
Do not expose valuables to strangers.
Do not listen to someone who pretends to guide you to something apparently wrong with your vehicle.
Avoid displaying the cash while withdrawing money from the bank or ATM to passers-by.
Avoid writing the PIN number on your credit or debit. Always keep these cards in a safe place.
Beware of any person spitting or sneezing on your clothes.
Cash, bags or wallets should not be placed next to the driver’s seat in a vehicle. This may expose them to theft.
Avoid keeping money or wallet in the back pocket of the trouser.
Inform police immediately if you notice any suspicions activity.
Source: Sharjah Police