Crime

Purses snatched at Middle Georgia gas pumps prompts investigation

Purse-snatcher in action

It took all of 12 seconds for a man to steal a woman's purse from inside her car at Kroger gas pumps in Perry, Georgia, on April 25, 2018. Another similar theft occurred in Macon two days prior.
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It took all of 12 seconds for a man to steal a woman's purse from inside her car at Kroger gas pumps in Perry, Georgia, on April 25, 2018. Another similar theft occurred in Macon two days prior.

While a woman pumped gas into her gold sedan at a Perry grocery store, a man parked beside her, opened her passenger door and snatched her purse just before noon Wednesday.

The theft happened in 12 seconds and the woman appeared unaware, surveillance video at the Kroger Fuel Center on Sam Nunn Boulevard shows.

Perry police are asking for the public's help with identifying the thief, a dark-haired, balding man who wore knee-length shorts and drove a white sedan.

A similar theft was reported just before noon Monday at the Kroger Fuel Center on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard in Macon.

A 67-year-old woman was getting something out of her trunk, car unlocked, after starting to pump gas. When she went to put her debit card back inside her wallet, it was gone, according to a Bibb County sheriff deputy's report.

Surveillance video showed a white man getting out of a white car parked beside the woman. The man opened the woman's car door with a gloved hand, grabbed her brown and gold MK shoulder bag, got back into his car and left, according to the report.

The purse contained $500 cash, a car key fob, the woman's driver's license, an AARP card, movie passes and a Dillard's credit card, the report said.

The woman later called police to report someone had used her Dillard's credit card and purchased $75 in gas.

Purse snatching at gas pumps is not a new crime.

In 2013, fact-checking website Snopes.com reported that such opportunistic thieves are called " 'sliders' due to the form of opportunity they favor: pulling up their vehicle side-by-side with another car at a gas station, then 'sliding' out of the driver’s side door ... to open the passenger’s side door or reach through a window of the adjacent vehicle and grab a purse that has been left unattended on a seat while its owner is busy pumping gas."

Anyone with information about the theft is urged to call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME or call police at 478-988-2800.

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