Thieves Targeting Distracted Drivers at Gas Stations
Montgomery County Police have been investigating a series of 14 auto/ property thefts that have happened at area gas stations over the past two months and are urging drivers to lock their cars even when they are pumping gas.
Investigators believe those involved look for a distracted victim; for example, a person who is outside of their vehicle paying for their gas purchase or who is talking on his/her cell phone. While the victim is outside of the vehicle, police said the suspect quickly exits the suspect vehicle and enters the victim’s vehicle. Often before the victim realizes what has occurred, both the suspect and victim vehicles have fled the area, according to police. In some incidents, only property has been stolen. The gas stations where these vehicle thefts have occurred have been in close proximity to the District of Columbia and the Capital Beltway. The time frame for the thefts have been both morning and afternoon. All but one victim have been female, according to a news release.
Police urge residents to lock their vehicles when leaving them unattended regardless of duration and to leave valuables out of sight. Anyone with information about these thefts is asked to call the Centralized Auto Theft Section at 240.773.6370.
Thefts were reported at the following gas stations:
6/23/14 8:00 a.m. 7980 Georgia Ave. (7-11) – stolen vehicle
8/30/14 1:33 p.m. 7980 Georgia Ave, (7-11) – attempt stolen vehicle
8/10/14 12:05 p.m. 7980 Georgia Ave. (7-11) – stolen purse
8/11/14 6:44 a.m. 10206 New Hampshire Ave. (Exxon) – stolen purse and phone
8/22/14 10:20 a.m. 7980 Georgia Ave (7-11) – stolen purse
8/24/14 12:25 p.m. 10211 Westlake Dr. (Shell) – stolen purse
8/30/14 12 p.m. 8384 Colesville Rd. (Exxon) – stolen purse and phone
9/4/14 7:22 a.m. 7980 Georgia Ave (7-11) – stolen purse and phone
9/20/14 10:47 a.m. 8240 Wisconsin Ave. (Sunoco) – stolen vehicle
9/21/14 11:19 a.m. 10201 Westlake Dr. (Exxon) – stolen purse
9/26/14 6 a.m. 10211 Westlake Dr. (Shell) – stolen wallet, phone and laptop computer
9/26/14 7:24 a.m. 8600 Colesville Rd. (Gulf) – stolen purse, phone and laptop computer and iPad
9/27/14 12:29 p.m. 8550 Connecticut Ave. (Liberty Gas) – stolen vehicle
9/27/14 12:37 p.m. 8500 Connecticut Ave. (Giant Gas) – stolen purse and iPad