A Singapore-registered Honda Stream disappeared from the carpark of Perling Mall in Johor Baru (JB) last Saturday. On Wednesday, The Straits Times reported a similar case in which a Singapore car was stolen in seconds in JB on Monday.
In the Saturday incident, engineer Arunachalam Sathiamoorthy, 48, had gone on a two-day trip to Desaru with his wife and daughter and was on the way back to Singapore when he lost his way.
He told The Straits Times that he had parked near Perling Mall at around 3.30pm for a quick bite.
"My daughter was hungry so we decided to make a brief stop to get her some food, but my car was gone when I returned less than an hour later," said Mr Sathiamoorthy.
"If I had not been lost, this would not have happened. But I never expected it to be stolen so quickly."
To make matters worse, he discovered that one of the three credit cards he left in the vehicle was used at 5.36pm later that day.
CAR THEFT CASE 1
OWNER Arunachalam Sathiamoorthy, 48
CAR Honda Stream
WHERE Perling Mall in Johor Baru
WHEN Last Saturday
CAR THEFT CASE 2
OWNER Nolan Khoo (above), 32
CAR Honda Civic
WHERE Tebrau City in Johor Baru
The RM200 (S$71.10) transaction was recorded at a nearby petrol station.
Mr Sathiamoorthy also lost two cash cards, an iPhone 6 Plus and two suitcases containing the family's clothes.
He said the Johor police had informed him that a review of surveillance footage showed his car exiting the carpark, although the time is not known.
But he believes that the theft of his car could be connected to a similar case on Monday, when fellow Singaporean Nolan Khoo's Honda Civic was stolen in 10 seconds at JB's Tebrau City, about 16km away from Perling Mall.
News of the theft sparked alarm online after Mr Khoo, 32, an assistant manager at a logistics firm, posted on Facebook on Tuesday a video of the incident, which was captured on a surveillance camera from a nearby store.
Mr Sathiamoorthy met Mr Khoo at the insurance company on Tuesday as both were filing their claims. Mr Khoo's car has also not been found.
"It could have been a coincidence, but two Hondas from Singapore stolen in quick fashion within three days?
"I have warned my friends to avoid driving across the Causeway for now," said Mr Sathiamoorthy.
Meanwhile, experts advise motorists to take precautions, such as using steering-wheel locks.
"There is a deterrent effect," said Automobile Association of Singapore president Bernard Tay.
"But looking (at the situation), if that fellow really wants to steal your car, he can get a tow truck and tow it away.
"What can you do then?"