ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A dire warning from the St. Louis County Police Department.
Police said they had caught a man who seriously injured a woman at a gas station. The robbery happened at QuikTrip in the 2000 block of Union Road last Wednesday around 5:30 p.m.
Prosecutors charged 19-year-old Chad Jones with first-degree robbery and assault.
Authorities said women are being targeted at area gas stations, and police said the suspect isn’t the only one preying on ladies pumping gas.
“This is not something we are just seeing in St. Louis County. We are seeing this in outlining areas as well,“ said Sgt. Tracy Panus for the St. Louis County Police Department.
Police posted a video on social media a few months ago warning residents about the trend officers are seeing with criminals targeting women at the pump.
“They are targeting women, obviously, because they carry purses more often, so we are being targeted,” Panus said. “Women really need to be aware, men carrying bags, backpacks.”
In the most recent case, a woman confronted the suspect. She jumped on the hood of the getaway car, but the driver hit reverse, then accelerated forward. The force of the quick motions knocked the woman off the hood and onto the pavement. She suffered serious injuries.
The victim told police that she was pumping gas when a vehicle pulled up alongside her, and that’s when the suspect jumped out of that vehicle and jumped into her car, and stole some property.
“They will pull up to the passenger side of the vehicle, open the car door when you are not even paying attention, grab your purse, and run off,” Panus said.
Police warn drivers to lock their car doors when pumping gas and keep keys in their pockets.