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Local gas stations continue to be hot spots for carjackings, victims are fighting back

By Rob Polansky, Dennis Valera

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    SOUTHINGTON, Connecticut (WFSB) — Communities across the state continue to be hit by carjackings, with many of them happening at gas stations.

In fact, one just happened early Wednesday morning in Southington.

A woman’s car was stolen just as she finished pumping gas at the Exxon gas station on Queen Street. It happened around 1:15 a.m.

The victim reported that as she finished at the pump, a young male got into the driver’s side of her 2014 BMW X3.

She said she jumped in front of the passenger side of the vehicle to stop the suspect, but the suspect threatened to shoot her.

No weapon was shown, but the victim complied.

The suspect left the area in the BMW.

The victim also reported that she had $2,000 in cash in the vehicle.

Police said no evidence was left at the scene.

Police said the vehicle was spotted a short time later, but disappeared before officers could pursue the driver.

The vehicle was eventually found just before 4:25 a.m. with the help of Waterbury police.

It was brought back to the Southington Police Department and processed for evidence. There’s no word on if they found the driver.

Then, over the weekend, a woman in New Britain fought off a carjacker at a Sunoco station on Stanley Street.

On Saturday night, around 9 p.m., a woman who did not want to be identified said she was sitting in her car when man walked up and tried to rip her out of it.

“I just kept screaming, the only thing that I know is to wrap my right arm into the steering wheel to actually protect myself,” she described.

The suspect walked away for a moment before trying again.

But the woman said she wouldn’t give her car up.

Police are searching for the suspect in this incident.

Her message to drivers is to be alert.

“Watch your back,” she said. “I never expected this, living in this city for so long. I don’t want this to happen to anyone. I have nieces, I have aunts, I have cousins.”

A message Briana Tucker admits she needs to take more seriously.

“I did not think to lock my door because I’m right here, it’s the broad daylight,” she said.

But with each incident she hears about, the scarier normal things like pumping gas become.

“It definitely feels scary, especially as a woman. I mean, we definitely have our own concerns with safety. But it definitely feels scary that you have to be on high alert all the time. Especially in your hometown,” Tucker said.

Police say no matter the time of day, it’s important to be alert.

“There is no specific time of day you need to be alert. It seems to be, unfortunately, this is a 24-hour issue,” said Southington Police Lt. Keith Egan.

Southington police also say it’s never worth your life to save your property, even your car.

So, when confronted by any criminal, just give them what they want.

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