The U.S. Embassy in Namibia informs U.S. citizens that local authorities have reported an increase in criminals attempting to enter vehicles stopped at traffic lights or intersections in and around the city of Windhoek. In most cases, one subject distracts the driver while an accomplice attempts to open a passenger-side door and grab items of value in the vehicle. The majority of these incidents have occurred in the central business district of Windhoek. The incidents have occurred at various times of the day.
As a reminder, here are a few things you should do to keep yourself protected:
- Always lock your doors after you enter your vehicle.
- Drive with your windows rolled up.
- Never keep anything of value (purse, backpack, money, electronics) in plain sight on the seat next to you or in the rear seat.
- When stopped at an intersection, leave enough room between your car and the vehicle in front of you in case you have to drive away (i.e., do not bumper lock).
- Be aware of your surroundings while stopped in traffic and do not become distracted by phone calls, texts, e-mails, etc.
If you are a victim of this type of crime, do not attempt to apprehend the perpetrator(s) yourself. First make sure you are in a safe place and then notify the police immediately. Also, please notify the Consular Section so that we can be aware of criminal trends affecting the U.S. citizen community.
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Namibia’s Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Namibia, located at 14 Lossen Street, Ausspannplatz, Windhoek, at +(264-61) 295-8500, or via e-mail at ConsularWindhoek@state.gov, from 0:00 a.m. to 0:00 m. Monday through Thursday and 0:00 a.m. to 00:00 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(264-81)127-4384.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).