D.C. police: Purses snatched from cars at gas stations

A 30-year-old mother says she was getting gas at a Shell station on 12th Street NE in Brookland when two men grabbed her purse from her front seat while her baby boy was in the back seat.

She says she had just turned her back to return the nozzle to the pump and she didn’t even see the thieves.

“It was very scary. It was the middle of the day and there were other people at the gas station," she says. “I am usually very cautious and I lock my car.”

But she forgot.

“In that 10 seconds, they were so good I didn't realize anything."

Police say two men had quietly pulled up next to her car and opened her passenger door.

A woman, who is deaf and mute, witnessed the theft from across the street and gave police a description.

It happened while the woman’s baby boy was in the backseat.

"I was so scared because they could have taken him," she says.

Officers told her another gas station across from the new Costco on South Dakota Avenue was also hit.

"A lot of times people don't even realize their purse is gone until they drive away and realize their purse isn’t on the front seat anymore because these guys are so good at it,” says Crmdr. Andy Solberg of the Metropolitan Police Department. “They will duck down, pull the door open and go in and steal the purse."

Police say it's a preventable crime seen time and time again across the area.