ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – As St. Louis city officials look to combat a spree of car break-ins, it appears a similar concern is rising in south county.

The St. Louis County Police Department is warning the public about a rise in thefts at south country gas stations. More specifically, police say thieves are taking off with women’s purses left behind in cars at several gas stations.

Police say, in recent cases, a woman would pump gas into her vehicle and either leave the purse in the driver’s or passenger’s seat. When that happens, thieves can pull up to the side of the car receiving gas in their vehicle, open that car’s door and quickly take off with purse.

Police shared videos of some recent theft via Facebook. The videos show a red pick-up truck pulling up to cars at a QuikTrip and promptly taking off from the scene.

If you have any information on those recent thefts, contact St. Louis County police at 636-529-8210.

County police urge customers, especially women, to be vigilant amid this ongoing trend. Authorities offer the following recommendations:

  • Keep your purse with you at all times
  • No matter where you are, lock your vehicle if you must go inside the gas station
  • Do not leave your car unlocked or running while unattended