Smash-and-grab thieves target busy moms in Chesterfield parking lots

Posted at 10:32 PM, Sep 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-30 23:44:54-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield police said a group of thieves in the Midlothian area had been targeting only unlocked cars, but say they’re now getting bolder.

Now the crooks are breaking windows to steal items, what police call quick smash-and-grabs.

There have been five purse thefts in the Primrose parking lot off Charter Colony Parkway. And three miles away outside a Midlothian salon, another crime scene.

"There was glass because they had broken out the window behind the driver seat,” said Marti Miller. "Fortunately, nothing was taken but my umbrella. It’s very sad to happen the way it does in broad daylight and so quickly. I bet it took six seconds for them to grab and do what they did."

Miller said she knows it was quick because the ladies at the salon showed it to police on surveillance video.

"They explained there's been a lot of smash-and-grabs in the area."

Primrose Thefts

Brandermill and Midlothian seem to be the main target areas for the crooks. Miller says guys in a BMW backed up next to her car and smashed out the window. She's still driving a rental car.

"About 90 percent of cars are left unlocked,” said Corporal Scott Gordon. “They pull the handle and go right in."

And police said that is what happened at the Brandermill Kindercare. Then another window was smashed out at another daycare down the street.

Gordon says all of the incidents are likely connected and urges drivers to beware. "Put your valuables in the glove compartment, under the seat or in the trunk,” he said. “Most of these cases involve things left in plain view. They smash and run."