A suspect is caught on camera driving off in a vehicle that is not his. The man is accused of stealing a van that was parked at a gas station near SW 44th and Independence. Police released video of the crime Wednesday.
The driver of the van left her keys in the ignition with the vehicle running and went into the convenience store for a short time. In the video, a red truck pulls up to a gas pump and parks. Two men and a child get out of the truck but they never go into the store.
The suspect wearing a red shirt motions for the other two people to go back to the truck. He walks near the van, paces around for a while and notices it is running and no one is inside.
It takes the man less than 30 seconds to scope it out and drive off.
A crime officers see all too often.
“Leaving our keys in a vehicle with the vehicle running at a convenience store is about the most popular way to get your car stolen,” said Msgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City Police Department.
The female victim reported her purse and wallet were also inside the van. The vehicle was also equipped with GPS. Officers contacted the dealership but were not able to get the vehicle’s location. Luckily, police found the car about an hour after the theft and only blocks from the gas station.
The owner may have gotten her car back the same day but it doesn't always happen that way. Police say this kind of car theft is easily prevented.
“It’s something we always encourage people to take those keys out,” said Msgt. Knight. “Lock the car and do not leave it running because it take a thief just seconds to get in the car and drive off.”
Police have not arrested the suspect in the video. They ask if you recognize him, call police.