By Sheriff Carmine Marceno

Thefts at gas stations, across the United States, appear to be increasing. Like many other crimes of opportunity, an unlocked vehicle with personal items in sight makes for a quick and easy target.

Whether you are simply distracted while pumping gas or inside paying, thieves wait for the opportunity to quickly open your vehicle door and grab anything and everything of value.

Carjackers sit in waiting for the opportunity to occupy and steal a running and/or unlocked vehicle. Vehicles containing children and/or pets don’t appear to discourage would-be carjackers.

Choosing well-lit fuel stations with surveillance cameras decrease the appeal to criminals.

Whenever possible, purchase fuel during daytime hours and do so from a station that offers significant visibility to the roadway. Select a pump closest to the structure. This increases your visibility to cashiers and staff that work inside. Additionally, due to their proximity to the register, these pumps are generally free of skimming devices.

Locking your vehicle doors and keeping valuables out of sight make it extremely difficult for thieves to enter your car or truck. Take your keys with you…do not leave them in the ignition or leave fobs on the seat.

Be certain to terminate your credit card transaction, at the pump, prior to leaving. This will ensure that no one else has access to your credit.

Avoid distractions. Be observant and aware of your surroundings. Take necessary precautio

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