Metro woman falls victim to “sliding” thief

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EDMOND, Okla. - Those filling up their tanks should be cautious!

In a matter seconds, your cash and all of your personal belongings could be stolen.

This week an Edmond woman fell victim to a crime you may not have heard of.

It's called "sliding."

Thieves slide or crouch along the side of your vehicle, looking for an unlocked door to steal from.

Often times, as happened this week, the victim doesn't know they've been hit until the thief has gotten away.

"A little bit of time is all they needed," said Dottie Gourley.

Entering her credit card information at a gas station near Memorial and Eastern while standing at the pump, a thief snatched Dottie Gourley's purse.

"I thought I must be crazy. Did I put it under the seat? No, it wasn't there," said Gourley.

Surveillance video shows the suspect driving a blue Chrysler 300.

It is a little hard to see, but the suspect jumps out of her car, commits the crime and quickly speeds away.

It's a crime known as sliding.

"I've never thought of that before. It's crazy," said driver Austin Curtis.

Like a lot of drivers, Austin has never considered locking his doors while getting gas.

That's why "sliding" has become more common.

"People will do anything to get money they don't have to work for I guess," said Curtis.

Video from around the country shows similar "sliding" thefts.

The thieves slide under the car windows and strike when they find an unlocked door or window.

"Anytime you leave an item of value in your car, you become an attractive target, even if you're just pumping gas," said Oklahoma City police MSgt. Gary Knight.

Police say the crime this week can serve as a warning to drivers everywhere.

"It's always important to pay close attention to your surroundings," said Knight.

"When you go to the service station, you may want to lock your passenger door or take your purse with you when you're pumping gas," said Gourley.

Unfortunately, aside from it being a female suspect, police don't have more information to give out about the thief in this case.

Anyone with information regarding this case should contact Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300.


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