GREENSBORO, N.C. — Watch this video. It was posted by the North Haven Police Department in Connecticut. You see a woman in a big box store parking lot. She's got her trunk open to put items in and a car is driving through the parking lot.
A man is hanging out the back passenger window of the car, he reaches out and snatches her purse. She had it in the shopping cart while she was unloading her items.
It happens so fast, in a matter of seconds. The thieves knew what they were looking for and before she could call for help, they were gone. The parking lot made for a quick getaway.
It happens in stores too. We have a video from a grocery store. There is a shopper in a scooter, doing what we all do, looking for an item on the shelf.
Her purse is where her feet are in the scooter, but when she gets up to pick an item off the shelf, the purse is no longer protected and is quickly taken.
It's another reminder, you can't leave your phone or your purse in the shopping cart or the shopping cart shelf-- not even for a second to look at something on a shelf or to unload your groceries because someone else, who looks like another shopper, is waiting for you to do that.
SMASH AND GRABS IN ALAMANCE COUNTY
Smash and grab is what the group known by law enforcement as the felony lane gang is doing.
Criminals break into vehicles at parks, then use stolen credit cards to quickly buy gift cards at nearby stores.
Deputies said they come in waves.
This time thieves are staking out at parks in secluded areas where there's not a lot of foot traffic.