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Tyre deflation scam at supermarket carpark


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I am not sure if this is the right forum to post this. (Modulator please feel free to move it to where ever you think is appropriate). But just a reminder for fellow drivers to be aware of these thugs operating in public car parks. I almost fell victim to them but luckily they thought they had bigger fish to fry.

What happened was, I parked my Yaris at my local supermarket carpark at around 7pm after work, spent half an hour shopping and went back to my car. When I tried to move off, my steering wheel felt very sticky and there was some strange sound coming from my right front wheel. I pulled off immediately and found that the tyre was completely inflated, I was really surprised as it was perfectly find all day with any abnormal sign. At this point, I could not see any sharp object sticking to the tyre at all but the dust cap of the valve and it looked a bit loose. 'Immediately', a 'good Samaritan' in a silver car stopped by and offered help. He claimed he works for a garage and he could check the tyre for me. I told him that I've got the tools and spare tyre that I could manage, but he insisted to help. He went over to check for punctures (obviously nothing), and before I pulled out my pump, he already had his from his boot. He tried to inflate the tyre but couldn't, claiming that the valve is faulty.

At this stage, I still insisted that I would simply put on the spare and would take care of it later, or call AA. He then offered to have fixed but I refused. He did helped me to put the spare on but he kept on insisting that it was not safe to use the spare wheel (what the heck!). He miserably drove off at this point, and I was lucky that he actually let me off. Thankfully he was a one man band and not a band of thugs, otherwise I would not be able to take off that easily. But I guess by the time when he saw all the tools in my boot that he realised that it would not be an easy target to him.

When I got back to my garage, I found out that this low life actually loosen the valve stem, that was why when I tried inflating it the air did not hold. I am not sure if this is a new type of scam but if it happens to my girlfriend or old couples, this man would have been successful. 

Just wonder if anyone has experienced anything similar.

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