ISLAMABAD - Unknown thieves deprived a senior journalist of his valuables after breaking into his car parked outside a commercial bank branch in Super Market here on Thursday evening.

Salman Masood, Resident Editor daily ‘The Nation’ and New York Times correspondent in Pakistan, became the latest victim of car break-in incidents frequently occurring in the posh markets of the city. According to the details, as soon as Salman Masood parked his car outside the bank branch at School Road, an unknown person swiftly approached him to ask the way to Karachi Company.

Soon after Salman went inside the ATM booth and on return found the rear door of the vehicle open. Upon checking, he found his laptop, I-Pad, passport, and cash in foreign and local currency missing from the car. The incident occurred in the jurisdiction of Kohsar police station.

According to Salman, the unknown person engaged him while an accomplice might have quietly opened the rear door of the vehicle, which remained open as he locked the car through remote control. Then the criminals took away the valuables. The police have registered a case, and further investigation is underway.

Thieves use a variety of sophisticated techniques to break into the cars parked in the posh markets of the capital and take away valuables of the citizens. Incidents at the posh markets are a regular feature now with the CCTV cameras installed under the Safe City project hardly helping the police in tracing the criminals.

Street crime continues unabated in the federal capital, and car break-in remains the most irritating as the victim loses not only money but also other valuables, which in majority cases, are hard to recover. Many such incidents have been reported at the Kohsar police station during the previous months, but the police have failed to bust the gangs.

According to the sources in the police, the police are aware of the Afghan criminals operating in the city.

The police are after the criminals who used to break into the cars, said the sources. The criminals, in such cases, usually lift valuables including laptops, I-pads, and cameras from the cars parked in the city markets.

It seems that an organized group of criminals is involved in the crime while the police remained unable to identify them even though Safe City cameras cover most of the parking lots. It seems that the multi-billion Safe City project has been ineffective as far as curbing theft is concerned. In many incidents, the police could not identify thieves due to the poor quality of the recorded footage.