Investigators look for suspects who stole purse at Lehigh Acres gas station

Published: September 23, 2020 10:45 PM EDT
Updated: September 24, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Investigators say crooks snatched a purse from a woman while she was pumping gas at a Lehigh Acres gas station.

The crime took place at a RaceTrac at Lee Boulevard and Alvin Avenue.

According to the report, after snatching the purse, a man and woman took off in a white Jeep Grand Cherokee, crashing into a parked car in the parking lot as they fled.

It has drivers thinking of ways to protect themselves.

“Most of the time you put the thing on auto, then just look at your phone,” Tony Nguyen said.

Some we talked to admit they don’t really pay attention. But the woman did notice an older man acting suspiciously near her car. Moments later, he ripped her purse away from her.

“It sounds pretty scary to me,” Nguyen said. “You know, maybe I got to start looking around more.”

Investigators say the Jeep the suspects fled in has two different kinds of rims.

Marilyn Cruz-Alvarez always locks her car and keeps an eye out because of stories like this.

“I’ve heard of people having their purse stolen from the car while they’re pumping gas, so I always make sure that the car is locked,” Cruz-Alvarez said.

It’s a wake-up call for others who normally don’t pay close attention.

“It makes me feel like maybe I shouldn’t have been on my phone, and be more cognizant of what’s going on around me,” Jessica Vankirk said.

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers said multiple people yelled, “Stop that man,” after the robbery and hope people will come forward and describe what they saw.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. To leave an anonymous tip, call 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).