New surveillance footage has surfaced out of Broward County showing a man snatching a woman's purse out of her car in a matter of seconds. The theft at the Parkland gas station is raising concern here in Southwest Florida.
The video captured two men in a silver four-door Toyota Camry with dark tinted windows pulling up. The thieves pulled up to the gas pump across from the woman's car and waited. Once she was distracted, the man crouches down between the two cars, opens her driver-side door and quickly pulls out her handbag. They were gone in a matter of seconds.
These types of videos are all over social media. Officials across the state are asking you to be mindful of your surroundings.
For Debbie Brown, it just reaffirmed the importance of self-defense.
"It made me pay attention and go, 'hmm', another point in case," Brown said.
Debbie Brown is a self-defense instructor teaching women to defend themselves in case of an emergency and stay safe while doing every day activities like pumping gas.
"Not only did he sneak up and get her purse," she said. "What concerned me is someone could have gotten in the car without her knowing and as she drove away she could have very well have been harmed."
Debbie says the number of woman and young men who have signed up for her class is surprising and suspects more woman will want to participate.
"thieves look for people not paying attention. It's important to use wisdom and be mindful of your surroundings," she said. "Leave your phone in your purse. Make sure you lock your doors."
Debbie will be holding the next Awareness, Wisdom, and Self-Defense Class on Monday, October 24th at 6:00pm at Life Church in Fort Myers. The class is free but registration is required.
Broward County Sheriff's office says the investigation of this theft is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO Det. Juan Hierrezuelo at 954-753-5050. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org. Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.