GREENSBURG (KDKA) – High gasoline prices are increasing the number of stolen cars at gas stations across the country.
One of those cases happened right here in Greensburg this week, so what can you do to protect yourself?
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It’s the kind of crime we don’t generally worry about, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that we should.
The police understand our complacency.
“It’s easy to think that we’re just going to pump gas and then nothing’s going to happen because normally nothing happens,” Greensburg Police Chief Shawn Denning said.
When Angela Piper’s car was stolen from a Greensburg gas station, Denning said there was no trick in stealing a resalable car.
“A guy we think just needed a ride back to Indiana,” he explained. “He was desperate. He found the opportunity, stopped by and took advantage of it, the vehicle was recovered. You know he was arrested afterwards. But we believe that was the case there. He just needed a ride.”
While Darryl Higgins is in custody and Piper’s Subaru has since been recovered, Denning shows that your vehicle could be hijacked in mere seconds, and he believes that’s being driven by the price of gas.
“I think it’s going to be more and more common,” he said.
Chief Denning said while there is a problem at the pump there are simple steps to avoid this situation such as: B. locking your doors and taking your keys with you when you exit the pump and go to the store.
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WATCH: Protecting your car at the pump
That’s why he said that we inadvertently give the opportunity to those who want to steal a car.
As Micah Smith filled her tank in Jeannette, she held her keys in hand.
“I feel like every time you get out of your car to gas lock your door because people are crazy out here,” she said. “You don’t look around. You don’t look around, you mind your own business. In the meantime, others may be watching you.”
Chief Denning said in Piper’s case she saw the guy coming, but it was too fast for her to stop.
He added that while your phone fills up time, it’s a distraction.
“It doesn’t matter where you live, you know, or where you’re from or what kind of vehicle you have, this opportunity is there, sometimes people are going to get desperate and I’m going to take it,” he said.
Chief Denning said you should lock the door even if you get back in while the gas is being pumped to warm up.
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He finally said that if the door is locked, the thief will likely see a locked door as too much of an obstacle to handle.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/04/08/rising-gas-prices-and-rising-car-thefts/ As gas costs rise, so does car theft – CBS Pittsburgh