According to Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, there have been sixteen incidents of purses being snatched from cars at gas stations in a five-day period.
The most recent incident happened at the Gulf Station on Myrtle Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard Sunday when the suspect also stole a car with a child inside of it.
In that incident, when the perpetrator became aware of the child’s presence, he fled the car leaving the child unharmed, but not before stealing the victim’s vacation money.
Although Masi was only aware of the Glendale incidents, Elvin Goris, manager of the Gulf Station, where the suspect struck twice, said the same person is responsible for similar crimes in the 102nd, 104th and 112th precincts. He also said the same individual struck at the Shell Station across the street.
Goris said the suspect stakes out gas pumps that are out of the view of security cameras and targets women who leave their purses inside unlocked vehicles.
“I have been here ten years and this is the first time I have ever had any problems before,” said Goris.
Although Goris said his employees as well as police are on high alert, he stressed that customers should always lock their doors when pumping gas.
A representative from the NYPD did not return calls for comment.