SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Police are investigating after a man was caught on camera stealing a woman’s car while she pumped gas in Southington early Wednesday morning.
Surveillance video obtained by News 8 shows the suspect slowly walking to the Exxon gas station on Queen Street at around 1:15 a.m. He jumps into the driver’s side seat as the 26-year-old woman in the yellow shirt pumps gas. She then got into the car on the passenger’s side and confronted the man.
Southington Police said the suspect told her he’d shoot her if she didn’t get out of the car. The suspect did not display a gun, according to police. The victim then got out and ran inside the gas station for help.
The clerk at the gas station said the woman ran to him right after it happened.
“And she came in here yelling that her car had gotten stolen, using many expletives that I can’t say on TV,” said Michael Mazzacane, the clerk.
Witnesses in the area told police he believed two suspects, both described as males, were involved.
The victim told police she had $2,000 cash in her car. Officers found the vehicle in Waterbury just before 4:30 a.m. and took it in for processing.
As of 3:30 p.m., police said the vehicle has been processed and will be returned to the owner. Police said the cash that had been reported in the vehicle along with other items in the victim’s purse was not inside the car.
People are Southington gas stations were already on high alert after a series of thefts of valuables left in cars. That happened at the same Exxon on Tuesday.
All over the state, car thefts are on the rise, a lot of them stolen by juveniles. There have been multiple thefts at Southington gas stations that have ended up in Waterbury.
“When you’re fueling up your car, you have to make sure you turn the vehicle off, don’t leave your keys in the car, and certainly not leaving valuables in the car,” Lt. Egan said.
So many car thefts have been linked to Waterbury recently, that there’s a regional police task force set up to investigate and share tips.
Waterbury’s police chief held a press conference just last week to talk about this and says juvenile crime is particularly hard to fight because of restrictions on steps police and prosecutors can take with young offenders.
Across the state, drivers are being warned to secure not only everything in the car but the car itself while you are pumping gas.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact Southington police.