Don't Be A Target Of Theft At The Gas Station - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/25/07

Don't Be A Target Of Theft At The Gas Station

Pay close attention to the busy gas station and you'll see the unsuspecting woman get out to pump her gas.

That's when the suspect swipes her purse from the front seat of the car and takes off.

The victim realizes what's happened when her passenger door swings open as she's pulling away. But by now, the perpetrator is long gone.

"The suspect was real brazen in what he did," says Don Martin, Public Information Officer for the Tyler Police Department.

Martin pointed out two common mistakes that people make. The victim's car door was left unlocked and her purse visible on the front seat.

"You got valuables in there you lock your doors," says Martin.

To a criminal's advantage it doesn't take long to commit this kind of crime.

A dramatization shows in just seconds, and in broad daylight, how quickly this could happen. It typically leads to other crimes like identity theft.

Martin adds, "Most of the time when we find purses stolen like that they'll go out and use those charge cards before it gets to the credit card company that it's a stolen card. They get 2,3,4 thousand dollars easily."

So next time you're at the pump, keep your car windows rolled up, remove your keys, put personal items under the seat and lock your doors. Finally, be aware of your surroundings.

It's better than, after the fact, wishing something like this never happened to you.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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