Those wishing to do harm have a horrible trick. If you see a plastic bottle on your car tire, you could be at risk. We need to help spread this warning so no one else gets fooled.
Criminals have allegedly come up with a new trick that’s proving so effective, it seems to be spreading around the world as news outlets from various countries have issued a warning: Drivers beware, thieves are deploying a new method to try to rob you or even steal your car, and all it takes is a plastic bottle. After a video was released and made its way to social media, detailing for other wannabe robbers exactly how it’s done, it’s become a concern for police everywhere.
First reported in Limpopo, a South African province bordering Botswana, Zimbabwe, the trick quickly spread to the other side of the world as a YouTube channel out of Mexico issued a “warning” video about this new way to steal a car. Unfortunately, a warning wasn’t all the video shared as it’s been viewed nearly 6 million times. In fact, it detailed for other criminals an easy way to take advantage of innocent people.
The new sneaky scam that these thieves are using to steal valuables or even entire cars from unsuspecting drivers is quite simple. First, the criminals target a parked car. After spotting a vehicle they wish to rob or steal, they slyly place an empty plastic bottle on top of the car’s passenger side tire, wedged in between the rubber and the wheel well, where the driver is least likely to spot it. Then, they wait.
Nothing seems amiss as the driver hops into their vehicle and fires it up. It’s not until they start to move the running vehicle that they realize there’s a problem. As depicted in the video below, the empty plastic bottle begins to crackle as it’s smashed by the moving tire. When the driver jumps out to inspect the odd noise, unaware of the plastic bottle’s existence, their instinct is to leave the car on so they can investigate where the sound came from. And, you can probably guess what happens next.
Although the video is in Spanish, it’s easy to grasp what the YouTuber is telling you. When the driver exits the vehicle for a closer look at their car, thanks to the strange sound the plastic bottle created, the thieves who put it there is given a great opportunity as they remained on the lookout nearby. The car they couldn’t get into before is now not only unlocked but even running with the keys in the ignition and the owner is distracted.
As soon as the driver makes their way to the other side of the vehicle, the car thief can jump into the driver’s seat, and it’s “Bye-bye car” before the owner can fully grasp what just happened. While they might only grab possessions from the car in some instances, then take off and leave the car behind, either way, the driver and their valuables are at risk if a criminal successfully deploys this trick.
Make no mistake, although this method was originally reported in Africa and the video comes out of Mexico, this nasty trick can make its way to our neighborhoods if it hasn’t already. The footage sought to warn about the crime, but it also demonstrated perfectly for other criminals how to execute the same plan. Luckily, it’s easy to foil their plans if we know about them. Therefore, it’s important to make others, who could be potential targets, aware.
Plastic bottles and thieves can be found anywhere, so regardless of where you live, there could be a risk of this happening to you or your loved one. So, remember and remind others that we should consider taking that extra second to walk around our car and look it over before we get into it. This is Driver’s Ed 101, and it can prevent more than just the potential criminal from carrying out their sick plot. If anything is there that shouldn’t be, take extra precautions. Criminals are clever, but we can be prepared for their sneaky tricks and effectively protect ourselves by simply being wise to their methods. If sharing this warning prevents even one single person from being fooled, it’s worth it. Stay vigilant.