Car thieves have stolen an unlocked car that had the keys and a woman’s purse inside it, according to Gulfport police.
On Dec. 6, a Gulfport woman left her purse and keys in her silver Lexus while she ran into her home near 54th Street South and 14th Avenue, police say, and while she was inside, a “dark gray SUV pulled up” and a teenager jumped out and stole the unlocked Lexus.
Both the gray SUV and silver Lexus sped away eastbound on 14th Avenue South toward 49th Street.
Police have not yet made an arrest. Police only describe the suspect who jumped out of the SUV as a Black teenager, according to police.
The alleged auto theft comes after a Nov. 29 incident where a man dropping his mother off at her Gulfport home left his truck running and it was also stolen. That alleged theft occurred near 55th Street South and 11th Avenue South.
Gulfport Police said there are car theft rings who look for these types of opportunistic situations.
“There are certainly groups of people, typically teenagers, that are related to these types of crimes. They are crimes of opportunity and [the thieves] usually steal the vehicles just after [the driver arrives] home,” GPD Sergeant Woodman said, adding that in most cases the driver has left the car running, “or with the keys inside.”
Woodman stressed the need to lock vehicles and to not leave keys or valuables in cars.