You have heard the story before. A woman pulls up to a gas pump and hops out of her car to quickly fill up her gas tank on her way home from work. While pumping her gas, she pulls out her cell phone and sends a quick text to a friend. Then she hops back in her car and reaches for her purse to put her credit card back and notices that it is gone! How could this have happened?
Let’s analyze the scene. The victim in this fictitious scenario made herself an easy target for any thief lurking nearby. To start with, she left the driver’s side window of her car down. Never leave any windows down or unlocked when pumping gas and always take your keys with you. Next, our victim left her purse and valuables on the front passenger seat in plain view. Never leave your wallet, purse, or other items of value in an unlocked car. Lastly, the victim used her cell phone while pumping gas which meant that she was not paying full attention to her surroundings. Limit distractions when at the gas station. You are only there for a few minutes. Minutes that can make the difference between you leaving with everything you came with, or perhaps having to call the police to report stolen valuables, a stolen automobile, or worse an assault on your person.
Online searches reveal countless stories of this offense across the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. It is a common occurrence locally and across the country. But this type of crime is preventable. The next time you get gas, there is one simple thing you can do to protect your valuables and life so that you are not the next victim. Lock your doors!
L.J. Follow me on Twitter: @CrimeDoc1213
#gaspumpsafety #personalsafety #crimeprevention #crime #ljsamuel #deardiary
Note: Stay tuned for details on Self-Defense Workshop tentatively scheduled for the end of January 2015.
American Petroleum Institute. (2014). Staying safe at the pump. American Petroleum Institute. Retrieved from http://www.api.org/oil-and-natural-gas-overview/consumer-information/use-energy-safely/.
National Crime Prevention Council. (2014). Gas station theft prevention. Retrieved from http://www.ncpc.org/topics/home-and-neighborhood-safety/gas-station-theft-prevention.
Zurko, R. (2013, August 8). Sliders at gas stations: Women targeted by sliders while pumping gas. The Examiner. Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/artice/sliders-at-gas-stations-women-targeted-by-sliders-while-pumping-gas/.