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Police Are Warning Women To Watch Out For Purse Snatchers At Gas Stations

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The weather is getting a little warmer every day, which means more people will be out and about. As the streets get crowded, there's more of a chance that your belongings can be stolen in an instant.

Last summer, a friend of mine had her shoulder bag cut while we were walking down a busy street. It happened in just one second, and we didn't notice until a few minutes later. That's how good some of these thieves are!

A few years ago, police warned about a new trend that's affecting women across the country, and they are still continuing to warn women to stay vigilant.

Here's what happens

While you're pumping gas at the gas station or when you're going inside the store to pay the bill, a car will pull beside yours. Someone will quickly get out of the passenger seat, but instead of pumping gas, they will open your car door and snatch your purse, or anything else they see of value.

These people are referred to as "sliders" because they crouch down low and immediately grab whatever they can.

"Generally, women are the victims because of the pocketbook, because it's an easy target. It has a strap, you can just reach in and grab it," retired NYPD Detective Joe Giacalone told CBS News.

Here's what you can do to protect your belongings:

Avoid becoming the next victim

Sliders are looking for women who are not paying attention.

The first thing you need to do is be aware of your surroundings. It's also a good idea to put your valuables in hard to reach places or in compartments.

Before you get out of your car to pump gas, make sure only the drivers seat is unlocked and that all your windows are rolled up. Better yet, just lock all your doors.

While you're pumping gas, make sure you're paying attention if a vehicle comes to close to yours. Make eye contact with the individual, so that they know you've seen them.

You should remain just as vigilant when you're going to pay. If you're paying at the pump itself, keeping looking back and observe your surroundings. If you're paying in the store, take your purse if you can, or look out the window.

That being said, you won't have to do that if your car doors are locked. That's the best thing you can do.

Has something like this ever happened to you?

[H/T: Snopes / ABC News]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.