Over approximately the last three months, 12 thefts from vehicles and six vehicle thefts have occurred at gas stations while people have been filling up their vehicles.
County Police investigators believe that during these thefts, 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 enters the vehicle. Often before the victim realizes what has occurred, the suspect(s) flees the area. In some incidents, only property is stolen.
In the wake of continuing reports of these kind of thefts, police urge residents to remove their keys from the ignition and lock their vehicles while they are at gas stations.
Anyone with information about these thefts should call the Centralized Auto Theft Section at 240-773-6370.