Car owner's Jurong visit takes nasty turn

A nail stuck in one of the car's rear tyres (above) in the incident in Westwood Crescent on March 2. Bins placed on the road (right) to reserve parking spaces are a common sight in the estate.
A nail stuck in one of the car's rear tyres (above) in the incident in Westwood Crescent on March 2. Bins placed on the road to reserve parking spaces are a common sight in the estate.PHOTOS: MR ZHOU, ONG WEE JIN
A nail stuck in one of the car's rear tyres (above) in the incident in Westwood Crescent on March 2. Bins placed on the road (right) to reserve parking spaces are a common sight in the estate.
A nail stuck in one of the car's rear tyres in the incident in Westwood Crescent on March 2. Bins placed on the road (above) to reserve parking spaces are a common sight in the estate.PHOTOS: MR ZHOU, ONG WEE JIN

He finds nails in tyres of his car, which was parked next to landed homes; police probing

While it is not uncommon to see rubbish bins placed outside landed properties, things have taken a nasty turn in landed estate Westwood Crescent in Jurong.

Police are investigating an incident after a visitor found nails embedded in both rear tyres of his car after he parked next to some semi-detached homes near a playground in the estate.

The incident took place on March 2, when the 37-year-old car owner was having Chinese New Year reunion dinner at a relative's home.

The car owner, who wanted to be known only as Mr Zhou, said he realised something was wrong with his car when he was driving off after dinner. "I heard strange sounds coming from the car," he said.

"I got out to check if there was anything wrong and saw nails stuck into the back tyres."

He said that in footage taken off a video camera in the back of his car, a middle-aged man can be seen behaving suspiciously behind the vehicle for about 30 minutes before the incident. The video is now with the police.

Residents said most homes in the estate have enough room on the driveway for only one car.

Kerbside parking is also limited to one car outside each house. And one side of the road is marked by a single yellow line, which restricts parking to between 7pm and 7am.

Resident Jervin Seet said: "People can 'chope' the parking spaces (with bins), but if someone moves the bin, there's nothing you can do. Just because you put a rubbish bin there doesn't mean the road belongs to you."

But another resident who declined to be named said some neighbours have big families and own more than one car. "If non-residents take up the parking spots, (those neighbours) have to park farther away and it's very inconvenient."

The nearest public carpark is at a Housing Board block in Jurong West Avenue 5, about 100m away.

A spokesman for the Land Transport Authority said that for private estates, it adopts a community approach by advising residents to ensure the objects they place outside their homes do not pose a safety hazard or obstruct other road users. But it can take action against people who place items in public streets or five-foot-ways that may cause obstruction or inconvenience to the public.

Mr Yee Chia Hsing, an MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, said "unhappiness over parking is quite common in many landed estates", adding: "Our grassroots leaders have been engaging the residents to adopt a give-and-take approach, and most residents understand."

He said residents have been advised to park in their own driveways as much as possible, and that he will be monitoring the situation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'Car owner's Jurong visit takes nasty turn'. Print Edition | Subscribe