Avoid This Common Practice as NJ Cops Investigate Two Wawa Air Pump Carjackings
If you have ever used the air pump at Wawa (or any gas station) to inflate your tires, you could be vulnerable to carjacking.
This practice is very common: you need air in your tires, so you stop at a Wawa. You pull up to the air pump, hop out (usually leaving your car running and sometimes even your door open), kneel down (sometimes no longer able to see the inside of your car), and put air in your tires. Making sure you are doing it correctly or watching the pressure gauge means you are probably distracted and not paying attention to your surroundings. And, in almost all cases, Wawa stores are rather safe places to be. What can possibly go wrong?
Doing just that makes you a prime target for those looking to steal a car. Two people in one Camden County municipality found that out the hard way recently.
Cops in Pennsauken are investigating two recent carjackings, both at Wawa air pumps.
On January 7th, a woman was at Wawa on Route 70 putting air in her tires when "an unknown suspect entered the vehicle and began to drive away. The victim was injured during the theft of the vehicle. The vehicle was later recovered in Camden City."
About two weeks later, on January 18th, Wawa on Crescent Blvd. was the scene of another carjacking. In this case, "a victim reports that he was putting air in his vehicle’s tires. An unknown suspect, exited another vehicle, pushed the victim to the ground and drove away with the victim’s vehicle. The victim sustained minor injuries. Both the victim’s vehicle and the suspect vehicle were later located in Camden City."
Those two carjackings are among five that have happened recently in Pennsauken
- December 6: Sycamore Ridge Apartment Complex. Three victims were robbed of their vehicle, which was later recovered in Philadelphia. One of the victims sustained a gunshot wound to the leg. One person was arrested.
- December 8: 3611 River Road. A tow truck driver, who was on location to pick up a vehicle, was forced at gunpoint to drive to Philadelphia. While crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge, the victim jumped from the vehicle. Two suspects were arrested.
- December 25: Sycamore Ridge Apartment Complex. The victim arrived at the complex to purchase marijuana. The victim was punched in the face and robbed of $130 and his vehicle. Two people were arrested.
Police remind you to never leave your vehicle running with the keys inside and don't leave it unlocked.