(KMOV) – Thieves are targeting women as they pump gas across the country in the latest crime trend warning.
Authorities say criminals are pulling up to the woman’s vehicle, opens door on the opposite side of the gas pump and steals the woman’s purse.
In a surveillance video captured at a Texas gas station, a silver vehicle can be seen pulling up next to the victim's car and the subject reaches into the car and grabs her purse. The subject drops some unknown objects, gets back into their vehicle and flees.
In another case, a woman, unaware she was being watched, walked into the convenience store then returned to begin pumping gas when the suspect jumps into her driver’s side window. He grabbed her purse and took off.
Captain Steve Lewis with the Chesterfield Police Department said “in these cases, what strikes me is the people could lock their doors in both cases; roll up windows, lock doors and make sure it doesn’t take place.
News 4’s Lindsay Bramson asked local women if they lock their car doors while pumping gas.
“It’s something I definitely didn’t think about but is scary. I didn’t lock my door, they easily could have done something, I wasn’t paying attention. “
Another said “That’s very slick and it doesn’t make me happy but he got away with it didn’t he? Surprised how easily that can happen? Yes.”
“Once people see a new method of committing a crime, they’re going to take it and as potential new victims we have to alter our behavior to take away opportunity for them to commit crimes.”
Police say to take the purse out of sight or even hold it while pumping gas. Always lock your car.