(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Dubai Police will start fining motorists Dh300 for leaving their car engines running while they go out on errands following a number of vehicle thefts because of this practice.
Colonel Jamal Al Jalaf, Deputy Director of Control and Administrative Affairs at the General Department of Criminal Investigation, said since several vehicles have been stolen as their drivers left the engines running when they went out for a short while, the police have decided to impose a fine of Dh300 on such motorists.
Car thefts of this kind are expected to increase in the summer as people leave their cars with the engine running to keep the air-conditioning on. Colonel Al Jalaf said motorists think they can leave their cars safely for a short time but are unaware that thieves are monitoring possible targets. Leaving the doors unlocked only adds to the burden on the police officers, he added.
Though car thefts are still being recorded, the number has dropped. Seven cases were reported during the first quarter of 2012 as compared to 32 in the corresponding period last year.
Brigadier Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation, said car thefts happen for a number of reasons, including negligence and leaving engines running. He said that studies showed the majority of vehicle thefts took place when people left them with the engines running while they visited gas stations, banks, fast food restaurants and mosques.
He warned that the thieves could steal the cars easily as the doors are unlocked and the engine is running. They can drive away in seconds and sometimes commit armed robberies with the stolen cars.
Despite the police spreading awareness among the public on this issue, the practice is still prevalant outside gas stations and fast food joints. He also urged the people not to leave their valuables in cars and to inform the police if they notice any suspicious behaviour.
Colonel Al Jalaf called on the community to cooperate with the police and report any suspicious behaviour on phone number 800CID (800243).