A NEW robbery trend has emerged in the Southern Division, with motorists being targeted by robbers at traffic lights.
The Fiji Police Force said it had observed a new modus operandi in recent weeks, particularly in Suva.
Several people have been targeted by the robbers when they stop their vehicles at the traffic lights.
According to some of the victims, the robbers got into their vehicles and offered to sell jewellery.
Director of Operations Senior Superintendent of Police Rusiate Tudravu yesterday confirmed that police had received some reports on the new robbery trend.
SSP Tudravu said the robberies happened at traffic lights and most of them were at night.
"We are looking into it and we are observing that it's a new modus operandi," he said.
"We are trying to put in place strategies to deal with it because we don't want people to be scared when travelling in their cars or when in their homes."
SSP Tudravu also said there were no closed circuit television cameras at the traffic lights where the robberies happened.
"There are some opportunists around and people should take all precautions," he said.
A car dealer, who did not want to be named, said he was targeted by a robber in Suva City about 2pm two Saturdays ago. He said a man got into his car with a bag and offered to sell him jewellery.
"I told him that I was not interested in buying and he just grabbed my one-month old mobile phone worth $1600 and took off," he said.
The car dealer said he was aware of other people, including businessmen and senior managers of various organisations, being robbed in a similar way.
"Of the cases that I'm aware of, the robbers gave different reasons when they got into the vehicles," he said.
Freeman Gock, a financial controller, said he was robbed at the traffic lights near the Westpac Banking Corporation in the capital city.
"I was in my car and when the light went red. A well-dressed middle-aged man with a shopping bag opened the door of the car parked in front of me and got in," he said.
"I thought he was a lucky guy that someone had given him a lift and I was waiting for the light to turn green and looking the other way when the man got into my car.
"He offered to sell me a gold chain and I told him to get out because I was not interested in buying it."
Mr Gock said it was only after the man got out of the vehicle that he realised his Blackberry mobile phone was missing from where he had left it in the car.
"I think the way they operate is they wait for the red light to get into the car and then wait for the green light to come on before they get out of the vehicle," he said.
Mr Gock said: "I think it's a group that is operating or maybe the same guy who is doing the robberies."
"But the thing is where are the CCTV cameras? If the cameras are there, then the robbers can be identified because they must be hanging around the area for some time," he added.
Mr Gock said the robber or robbers had mastered things properly, saying there were also groups around the Suva Market involved in pick-pocketing.
Williams & Gosling Limited managing director Dave Aidney said he put out an alert to all his staff last week after learning about the robbery trend.
Company driver Shamal Ritesh Anand said he was caught by surprise on Wednesday after he stopped at the traffic lights near the Kings Wharf.
"I stopped near the lights and this guy just got into the car with a plastic bag and asked if I wanted to buy jewellery," he said.
"I told him I don't want to buy any jewellery and when I saw his hand going towards two mobile phones I had left near the cup holder, I swore at him and told him to get out of the car."
"He got out of the car and swore at me. I'm lucky that the two mobile phones were not taken," said Mr Anand.