Southington Police are warning people to lock their cars as they pump gas or enter gas stations after several handbags and backpacks were stolen from vehicles over the past week.
Police said they received reports of six thefts from local gas stations over the past week and that unoccupied vehicles were parked and unlocked as owners pumped gas or shop at the interior.
Handbags and backpacks that were prominently inside the vehicles were taken and the thieves quickly got into their vehicles and left, police said.
Police urge residents to lock their vehicles when left unoccupied.
When you are at a gas station, remove your keys and lock your vehicle when you go out to pump gas or get inside, the police are warning.
If you are carrying a purse or bag, make sure it is not conspicuous or easily accessible.
If anyone has any information or videos of burglaries or motor vehicle thefts, police ask you to share them with the Southington Police Department Auto Theft Task Force via email, [email protected]
Police also urge people to lock their doors even if you are parked in front of your house, in your driveway, or inside your garage. They said criminals like to walk down the street and see if a car is unlocked. If so, they open the door and take whatever is visible and move on to the next target.
Where the Southington thefts from vehicles have occurred
Southington Police said someone in a silver Audi Q5 that had been stolen from Wolcott took the victim’s handbag from a car at the Mobil at 1896 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike at 3:47 p.m. on September 6 as the victim was pumping gasoline.
The suspects left at high speed. Police said the vehicle was seized and processed.
On September 7, a victim was pumping gasoline at 10 a.m. at the Sunoco gas station at 398 Main Street and his purse was stolen from the passenger side of the vehicle.
On September 8, a victim was inside Salsa’s Southwest Grill at 4:51 p.m. when someone entered the vehicle and removed a purse.
Police said they had not identified any suspects.
On September 10, a handbag was stolen from a vehicle at the T / A Travel Center on Meriden-Waterbury Road at 8:18 p.m. while the owner of the vehicle was pumping gasoline.
Police said a vehicle pulled over on the opposite side of the vehicle and someone in that car stole his purse.
A handbag was stolen at 11:04 a.m. on Sunday from the Mobil at 1896 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike as the victim was pumping gasoline, police said.
They said a man got out of a white BMW SUV, entered the passenger side of the vehicle and stole the handbag.
At 11:20 a.m. on Sunday, a black diaper bag was stolen from the front passenger seat as the victim pumped gasoline from the Food Bag at 960 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.
Police said the description was the same as the suspect in the robbery moments earlier
Earlier this month, at 8:06 p.m. on September 4, the theft was a theft from a vehicle at Food Bag at 960 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike. Police said the suspicious vehicle was also seized and processed.
The police offer the following advice:
Lock your doors
Most burglaries and car thefts come from unlocked cars. Even if you are parked in front of your house, in your driveway, or inside your garage, lock your doors. Criminals like to walk down the street and see if a car is unlocked, if so they open the door and take whatever is visible and move on to the next target. However, if the door is locked, they are more likely to continue.
Secure your vehicle
Roll your car windows completely and activate the car alarm, but don’t rely on it as the only way to deter a thief. A car thief can break into and out of your car in about 30 seconds, fast enough that most of them won’t be scared of an alarm.
Keep your vehicle tidy
Thieves love to shop! Avoid leaving anything visible in the car. Almost anything visible from the outside – even if you think it is worthless – could be considered valuable to a thief.
Your spare change, sunglasses, even an empty bag (a thief may think there is something inside the bag) could be valuable in a thief’s mind.
Hide all evidence
Store your electronics and accessories out of sight, or just take them with you. The evidence alone might be enough to pique the interest of thieves, including items like power cords, adapters and suction cup mounts for GPS windshields. If you remove the suction cup, be sure to wipe the windshield ring; it’s a dead giveaway that you own a GPS.
Hide before you park
Get into the habit of putting the items you want in the trunk of your car before you reach your destination. Thieves will linger in busy parking lots looking for you to store your valuables.
- Park in a busy, well-lit area and avoid hiding from large vehicles, fences, or foliage.
- Avoid parking in isolated and poorly lit areas.
What to do if you witness a theft:
If you witness a break-in or theft in progress, police ask you to call 911 immediately and provide as much information as possible to the 911 dispatcher, including:
- Location – Provide an address, block number or specific location in a parking lot.
- Description of the suspect – Provide as much information as possible, i.e. gender, race, age, height, weight, hair color and length, hair color and length of the face, the colors and style of clothing, and identifying marks such as tattoos and piercings.
- Direction – If the suspect flees, indicate the direction of travel. If they run away on a bicycle or in a vehicle, describe the color, make, model and license plate number, if it is safe to do so!