Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
Richardson police are searching for thieves they call "sliders" because they slide in and out of vehicles while unsuspecting targets are pumping gas often in broad daylight.
Police in Richardson are on the lookout for thieves they describe as "sliders."
These types of thieves have struck all over the country. In the last week, three of the thefts have been reported at two different gas stations right across the street from each other on West Belt Line Road near U.S. Highway 75 in Richardson.
Richardson police said these thieves prey mostly on women and strike while their victims are pumping gas. With the victim focused on filling the tank, the thieves drive alongside the car and slink inside the vehicle through an unlocked door. Once inside, the thieves take a purse or wallet or more before slipping away.
The crime can happen in mere seconds.
"A lot of times, victim doesn't even realize it's taken place 'til they get back in, get down the road a little bit and notice their purse or wallet is missing," said Sgt. Kevin Perlich, with the Richardson Police Department.
In all three cases, the crime has happened between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The crime alert has women on edge.
"It's really sad, 'caus they're creeping underneath your car and you can't see them," said Bernadette Schulz.
Schulz said it's a reminder to always be vigilant, not just at gas stations.
"Especially as women, you know, we always have packages and our purses and sometimes, not paying attention, looking for our keys, and all that, you have to be a little bit more aware of what's happening," Schulz said.
Police told NBC 5 in one of the incidents they were able to get a partial vehicle description. Right now they are following up on that description.
Investigators said the thefts may be connected. Police added that a fourth theft may also be connected, however details about that crime are limited as police connect the dots with the other crimes.