Theft of cars at vehicle dealerships and panel beaters has recently emerged as a growing trend in the industry. Standard Bank has urged its customers to remain vigilant and to guard against falling victim to this crime.
Johan van Greuning, Head of Standard Insurance Limited, warns that a well-organised syndicate is using customer and vehicle information stored at vehicle dealerships and panel beaters to steal vehicles. The vehicle makes and models that have been stolen vary.
“This disturbing new trend operates quite simply,” says Mr van Greuning. “A person arrives at a dealership or panel beater and says that he is collecting a specific vehicle that has been serviced or repaired. The bill is paid, keys are handed over and the fraudster simply drives away after settling the vehicles outstanding bills.
“We advise all motorists leaving a vehicle for servicing or repairs to ensure that the outlet concerned is supplied with a copy of their identity document that must be attached to the vehicle’s paperwork. The dealer must then be instructed to only release the vehicle when the person claiming it can produce the original identity document.
“This is a simple step, but it is extremely effective and could make the difference between leaving with your vehicle, and having to go through the inconvenience of claiming for a loss,” concludes Mr van Greuning.