Towns seeing increase in gas station crimes

Drivers targeted by thieves at gas stations
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 7:27 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, CT (WFSB) - Police in Watertown posted a video to social media of a car being stolen from a gas station in about 7 seconds.

They said it happened around 10:15 a.m. on Sunday at the Shell Gas Station on Straits Turnpike.

Police also said that the keys were left inside the running black Nissan Altima. The driver was inside the store at the time.

“Please do not leave your keys in your vehicle, lock your doors and be aware of your surroundings,” Watertown police posted to their Facebook page. “Suspects are waiting in parking lots for someone to leave their vehicles running unattended.”

They said that on Saturday night, a vehicle was stolen from CVS in town. The keys were left inside that vehicle as well.

“There has been a drastic increase in stolen motor vehicles throughout town and in the area,” police said.

Woodbridge also had an incident where someone’s purse was taken from a car while the driver was pumping gas. The suspect entered the unlocked driver door and grabbed the purse in the passenger seat.

They got away before the owner knew it was gone.

“Woodbridge is such a small town, I grew up here my whole life you could leave your front door unlocked or you don’t have to lock your cars at the end of the night but now it’s just completely different. Lock up,” said Kirsten Scaffrui of Woodbridge.

Three reminders from officials:

  • Don’t leave your keys inside your vehicle and your car on
  • Lock your doors
  • Be aware of your surroundings, whether you’re at the gas station or at the store

Some people are taking extra precautions because they’re on such high alert.

“I even jiggled this because there’s so many of the fake card readers that end up stealing your information. It’s just, even with cameras around. I know times are tough but we’re working hard for our money, it’s not really fair when people are taking our stuff,” said Ashley Ann Bova of Seymour.

“I know in the past year we’ve gotten ring cameras at our house and it sounds kind of silly but you never know and you can never be too safe,” said Kirsten.