NCPC keeps an eye on this emerging crime trend.
Recently, there has been increased media coverage across the country regarding theft at gas stations. The unique setting allows thieves to catch their victims by complete surprise — when they are pumping gas or paying their tab inside the station. Most of the time, gas station customers leave their car doors unlocked and items like purses and wallets are often left in plain view. A thief is able to drive up next to the victim’s car, open an unlocked door, and grab any valuables within reach. Then, the thief quickly drives off. It happens in a matter of seconds.
But these thefts can be easily prevented if the appropriate precautions are taken. NCPC and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia recommends the following tips to prevent citizens from becoming victims of theft at area gas stations.
- Pick stations that are well-lit and have video surveillance cameras at the pump.
- Always remove your keys and lock the doors while you are pumping gas.
- Keep valuables out of plain view in your vehicle and lock the doors even if you are going inside for a moment.
- Pay attention to your surroundings.
- Don’t let your cell phone distract you.