Dangerous gas station purse snatcher at large
NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Police are searching for a crook who is taking advantage of women while they fuel up at gas stations.
"I feel very violated that someone could open my door and take my purse while my baby was sleeping in the back," said a mother who was victimized and preferred anonymity. She happens to be the wife of 7News reporter Rosh Lowe.
The brazenness of the crook is fueling concerns of police because, they said, he is targeting women at one particular South Florida gas station, located at 1550 Ives Dairy Rd. The most recent incident happened this past Sunday at around 2:15 p.m. and involved Lowe's wife. Just an hour earlier, Miami-Dade Police noted, a similar crime occurred at 103rd Street in Northwest Miami-Dade.
Surveillance video caught the crime on camera Sunday. As Lowe's wife pumped gas, the thieves pulled up next to her Honda Pilot in a white Chevy Impala. While she is distracted pumping gas, the thieves strike by opening the passenger door. "I was just pumping gas, looking at the gas pump," she said.
Miami-Dade Police Detective Adam Shahan explained the danger of crooks targeting women with children in their cars. "What if they decided to take the car because the keys were in the vehicle?" he said. "Then we have a child-- an abduction situation, and we don't need that. I mean, this is very, very dangerous."
Purse thefts have happened numerous times at this gas station. In February of 2011, surveillance video caught a dramatic theft when purse-snatching thieves hit a woman who tried to stop them. In April of 2011 a similar incident occurred. In that case, the crooks smashed a passenger-side window. "They look for a woman alone in the vehicle to prey on, usually," noted police.
Miami-Dade Police are looking for a specific car key to the case: a white Chevy Impala with tinted windows and a paper tag. If you recognize the car and have any information on any of these robberies, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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