Alsip police say car thieves targeting customers at S. Kedzie Ave. gas station

ALSIP, Ill. (WLS) -- Police in south suburban Alsip said thieves are targeting customers at a gas station, including one woman whose car was stolen while refueling.

Police said the woman was at the Pilot Station in the 12600-block of South Kedzie Avenue and was standing outside her SUV pumping gas when a car pulled up.

"The passenger had gotten out of the vehicle, went up to the woman's vehicle, and entered the driver's seat," said Alsip Police Chief Jay Miller.

With keys in the ignition and the car running, police said the offender promptly sped off, ripping the nozzle right off the pump. The pump, the victim said, whipped her in the arm as the suspect tore off in her car.

"She wanted to initially engage the offender from getting in the vehicle," Miller said.

It was the second time in two days police responded to that gas station for the same kind of crime. The first time, police said the thieves started by just stealing her purse.

"She realized her purse was missing because her blue tooth had cut off," Miller said. "She went inside to report to police what happened and while doing so she had also left her vehicle running, they went back and took the whole car."

Police believe the same pair or group of thieves were responsible for both thefts. They said the suspects are looking for the easiest opportunity they can find. So police are warning drivers who use that gas station to be cautious, make sure they turn off their cars and remove the keys from the ignition while they pump gas, and lock their doors.

Police believe the suspects will strike again.

"Our biggest fear is that there could be a child in the car, a baby in the backseat without them realizing it," Miller said.
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