Attention women buying gas in Montgomery (or men with purses) – thieves may get the drop on you while you yak at the pump

Beltway Bandits

Detectives Investigate Series of Gas Station Auto/Property Thefts

ROCKVILLE, MD. — In this day and age of specialization, police report that one thief, or gang of thieves has perfected their skills to the point of being able to pull off dozens of crimes by taking advantage of women (or men with purses), who leave their vehicle unlocked while gassing up at the pump. The evil-doers hop into the vehicle and swipe valuables and purses while the victim is distracted by talking on the cell phone while pumping gas.

CrimeAlertDetectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Centralized Auto Theft Section have been investigating a series of auto/ property thefts with a similar manner of operation.   Over the last two months, 14 gas station auto/property thefts have been reported as follows:

6/23/14 8:00am 7980 Georgia Ave. (7-11) –  stolen vehicle

8/30/14 1:33pm 7980 Georgia Ave, (7-11) – attempt stolen vehicle

8/10/14 12:05pm 7980 Georgia Ave. (7-11) – stolen purse

8/11/14 6:44am 10206 New Hampshire Ave. (Exxon) – stolen purse and phone

8/22/14 10:20am 7980 Georgia Ave (7-11) – stolen purse

8/24/14 12:25pm 10211 Westlake Dr. (Shell) – stolen purse

8/30/14 1200pm 8384 Colesville Rd. (Exxon) – stolen purse and phone

9/4/14 7:22am 7980 Georgia Ave (7-11) – stolen purse and phone

9/20/14 10:47am 8240 Wisconsin Ave. (Sunoco) – stolen vehicle

9/21/14 11:19am 10201 Westlake Dr. (Exxon) – stolen purse

9/26/14 6:00am 10211 Westlake Dr. (Shell) – stolen wallet, phone and laptop computer

9/26/14 7:24 am 8600 Colesville Rd. (Gulf) – stolen purse, phone and laptop computer and iPad

9/27/14 12:29pm 8550 Connecticut Ave. (Liberty Gas) – stolen vehicle

9/27/14 12:37pm 8500 Connecticut Ave. (Giant Gas) – stolen purse and iPad

Investigators believe the suspects 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 his/her vehicle and is distracted, 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.  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.

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.

  • ROCKVILLE, MD. --- In this day and age of specialization, police report that one thief, or gang of thieves has perfected their skills to the point of being able to pull off dozens of crimes by taking advantage of women (or men with purses), who leave their vehicle unlocked while gassing up at the pump. The evil-doers hop into the vehicle and swipe valuables and purses while the victim is distracted by talking on the cell phone while pumping gas

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