Purse snatchers target women driving SUVs in Bellaire

Published On: Feb 26 2013 10:36:25 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 27 2013 09:17:10 AM CST

Thieves have stolen purses and other belongings from about eight women at convenience stores in one Houston-area city in the past month, investigators said.

Bellaire police said surveillance video from a store at Bellaire and South Rice shows a tan Chevrolet Trailblazer pull up beside a woman pumping gas. Someone jumps out of the Trailblazer, opens the door of another SUV, steals a purse and takes off.  It only took six seconds.

"The mother was fueling with gas, the 3-year-old was in the back seat in their car seat and the suspect came in, took the purse and left," Detective Doug Clawson said. "When the mother got back into the vehicle, the 3-year-old said, 'Mommy, someone just took your purse.'"

Police said women driving SUVs appear to be the top target. 

"It was giving them an opportunity to conceal themselves as they approached the victim's vehicle while they were fueling with gas," Clawson said.

Police said the thieves appear to work in teams. One person drives, the other steals.

Detectives said the thieves have been seen in a tan Trailblazer with two stickers in the upper left corner of the driver's window, a white Infiniti G-35 and a newer-model black sedan with tinted windows.
Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call Bellaire police at 713-668-0487.