We're getting our first look at two men police call "sliders." It's a term they're using to describe crooks who target women's purses right under their noses as they pump gas or drop their kids off at day care or school.
Local 2 Investigator Robert Arnold first uncovered this crime trend last week and now he has new details on this latest crime and the stolen property police recovered.
Police are still checking into whether the two men arrested after the gas station burglary are connected to other crimes. However, those were just two of several arrests made citywide as part of a crackdown.
"This is totally preventable. It's up to you to take the responsibility to make sure that you secure you're property," said Houston Police Officer Jim Woods.
Woods says that's exactly what happened when a pair of suspected thieves pulled up in a red car and stole a purse and laptop out of a woman's SUV while she parked at the pump at a gas station on Westheimer at the 610 West Loop.
"We keep trying to repeat this over and over and over again, protect it, it's yours," Woods said.
Within a couple hours of the theft, police arrested Roy Johnson and charged him with burglary of a motor vehicle. Marques Coleman was arrested and charged with driving a stolen car. Woods says the pair was arrested in part because a person saw the men rifling through a woman's purse and dialed 911.
"We are grateful for the citizen that called in. If you see something, say something," he said.
Another part of the reason the men were arrested quickly is because an undercover detective happened to be in the area when the call went out. That detective was one of several positioned throughout the city.
"Tact teams were out targeting different areas of town for auto theft related crimes," said Woods.
He says at least 10 people were arrested for breaking into cars. Police have been trying to crackdown on so-called sliders who are targeting women at gas stations who leave their purse in the car and doors unlocked.
Police warn this type of crime seems to increase during the summer months. It's hot outside so people don't like to lug a lot of things around. And the crooks know that means more people are apt to leave things in their car and their doors unlocked.