BRIDGETON, Mo. – Carjackings are on the rise, and as police work to stop thieves, some drivers are now fighting back to protect their property.
On Tuesday, Jan. 3, shortly after 5:30 p.m., Williams, who does not want to disclose her first name, was coming home from work when her usual gas trip turned into a fight for her life.
“I’m putting the cap back on the gas tank, and I hear my door,” Williams said. “Once I hear my door, I see the light inside my car, and I see a man jumping over to the driver side.”
That’s when adrenaline took over, and she leaped into action.
“I just start hitting him and hitting him. He had his arm up, but he kept going, and he was reaching,” Williams said. “I thought, ‘I have my purse, I’m concealed and carry, my gun is there.’ I grab it. He saw me taking it out of the clip, and he panicked.”
The suspect, whom Williams described as a young teen, jumped out and ran back into the vehicle he came in. The teen and another suspect in the car drove off.
Williams’ car, in the meantime, was still in motion.
“I literally had to jump from my back seat to my front seat and stop my car from going towards the pump and a person,” Williams said.
The surveillance video shared by police shows the suspect pulling up next to Williams in a white sedan. No license plates were on the vehicle.
In recent weeks, thieves have targeted customers at gas stations. Williams decided to speak out about her experience after FOX 2 reported a story on Friday about several carjackings at one gas station in Creve Coeur.
On New Year’s Day, one burglary was caught on camera, and another the day before Williams. Each time, the thieves got away, but not this time.
“A month ago, my Hyundai was stolen, and I just got this car,” Williams said.
She said that since the car was new, she wasn’t used to the doors not locking automatically. Within seconds, the thieves took advantage of that.
Williams said she doesn’t encourage anyone to respond the way she did, but she said she is thankful she wasn’t the victim again.
“We both could have gotten hurt, so definitely blessed that it didn’t go the other way,” she said. “I’m safe, and I’m able to talk about it and warn other people.”
Authorities remind drivers to always lock their doors and take the keys with them.
Bridgeton police urge the public to come forward with any information they have as they continue to investigate.