SINGAPORE - For Singaporean housewife Nur Suliana and her parents, last Friday (Sept 11) was a public holiday they will not want to remember.
Their two-year-old black Honda City was stolen at a popular shopping mall in Johor Baru.
Ms Suliana, 28, had made the short hop across the Causeway for some grocery shopping at Perling Mall, about a 30-minute drive from the Woodlands Checkpoint.
Along with her parents, three-year-old son and nine-year-old nephew, Ms Suliana arrived at the mall at around 7pm after first dropping by her sister's place at nearby Jalan Layang.
The car (registration plate SGJ2172M) belongs to her parents.
According to Ms Suliana, who managed to review the security footage from a nearby CCTV camera, the car thief - whom she described as a medium-built, dark-skinned man - was driving a white Honda car when he was spotted at around 8pm. He carried out the theft alone in about 20 minutes.
Both Ms Suliana and her father's phones were in the car, along with about $400 in cash and their belongings.
Ms Suliana, who travels to JB two or three times a week, said her parents visit the mall often and would usually park near the entrance or within sight of a CCTV camera.
"But the way the thief just brazenly went about his business, in full view of everyone, was scary," she said. "That was when I read online reports about the recent spate of car thefts and realised that Hondas were an easy target."
She was also informed by the Malaysian police that thefts involving Honda cars had occurred before at the mall.
Perling Mall was the scene of a similar crime on Aug 8, when Singaporean engineer Arunachalam Sathiamoorthy's Honda Stream fell prey to car thieves.
Mr Sathiamoorthy, 48, was on the way back with his wife and daughter from a two-day trip to Desaru, and had stopped by the mall for a quick bite after getting lost.
It was also the first of three Singapore-registered Honda cars which were reported stolen in JB in less than a week.
On Aug 10, logistics firm assistant manager Nolan Khoo, 32, lost his car in broad daylight outside Tebrau City. A Facebook video of the incident, which showed the thief making off with Mr Khoo's Honda Civic in less than 10 seconds, went viral.
The third victim was retired policed officer Yeoh Seng Hock, 75. He drove up north with his wife for breakfast at a bak kut teh stall on Aug 14; his second-hand Honda Fit disappeared while he was having his meal.