COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Following a recent spate of crimes at Columbus-area gas stations, CPD is giving recommendations so customers can avoid becoming victims.
In a release, Columbus police gave the following advice for customers using self-service gas pumps, which are often targeted by carjackers and thieves.
Choose a safe and familiar area during daylight hours whenever possible to top off your fuel tank. Get into a practice of filling up your vehicle’s tank when it is half-empty whenever possible; this is also good for your vehicle! Never let your gas supply get so low that you are forced to stop for fuel in an unsafe or unfamiliar area late at night. Additionally, thieves look for purses and wallets left on the passenger seat to grab and flee, sometimes to a waiting vehicle, when you are filling the tank; this only takes SECONDS.Columbus Police media release
CPD safety tips for gas station customers:
- Never leave your keys in the ignition. Take them out of the vehicle and lock your car while you are pumping gas.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and don’t let anything distract you while filling the tank, including your phone.
- Do not leave your valuables in plain sight when you exit your vehicle, even with the doors locked. That includes children; always take them with you.
- Always take your receipt or hit the “clear” or “no” button when using a credit card.
- Pay attention, trust your intuition, and report suspicious activity to police.