I know most people won’t ever mind checking their cars after running an errand, but I guess after you’re done reading this article you probably should start doing it! If you do conduct a quick walkaround of your vehicle and happen to spot a water bottle wedged into one of the wheel wells, then be alert! You could be in danger.
A new improvised trick from the Criminals has recently been discovered, this bottle-on-the-tire technique apparently started in South Africa, but now it is making its way around the world thanks to social media.
This kind of style is 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.
The trick is pretty simple and is set up like this:
- The car thieves place an empty water bottle on one of the tires on the passenger side of your car
- You don’t notice the water bottle upon entering the driver’s side of the car
- As you begin to move the car, you hear an unexpected crunching noise from the other side of your car caused by the water bottle
- You stop the car and get out to see where the noise is coming from
- During that time, the car thief gets into your car (which is presumably still running) and drives off with it. If it’s not running, then they will grab whatever personal items they can from your car and runoff
The carjacker is hoping that you will get out of the car and go to investigate the sound. If you leave your car running, or if you leave the keys inside the car, it will make for a quick getaway for them. I’ve also seen some stories online where they suggest that someone might use this trick just to steal a purse or other items from inside of your car.
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.
Watch it here: Gatinhitoluz/Youtube
From what we have gathered, this water bottle scam seems to be an urban myth that’s been circulating around the Internet for a few years. However, we thought it would still be a good idea to warn drivers about it just in case. After all, someone thought of it and it seems like a viable ploy that could work on unsuspecting victims.
You may think it’s silly, and it may never happen in our area, but it is better to be aware of stuff like this than it is to fall victim to it.
My suggestion would be, if you hear something that sounds like you might have run over a bottle, make sure your doors are locked and back up far enough that you can see what the noise was without getting out of your car. Or, drive a distance away before you get out and check your vehicle.