Deputies: spike in Anderson car thefts near holidays - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: spike in Anderson car thefts near holidays

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Anderson deputies say there's been a trend of a specific kind of auto thefts in the county the last few months.

The cars targeted have all been left running by their drivers outside of convenience stores with the keys in the ignition.

One couple contacted FOX Carolina after they say their own vehicle was stolen by a thief using this tactic.

Lee Foley says that on Dec. 16 he parked a 2001 Toyota Forerunner right outside the front of the Exxon station on South Main Street in Anderson. He says he got out of the car and ran inside to buy a soda.

"I couldn't have been any more than 10 seconds," said Foley.

Anderson deputies say surveillance video shows that's all the time it took for the suspects to drive up in another car, allow one of the criminals to jump out and jump into the victim's car and drive away.

"Normally I don't feel too helpless, but in that situation I was," said Foley. "There was not much else I could do."

Deputies say they've received reports of four other similar incidents outside Anderson County convenience stores since October.

"These are crimes of opportunity, people are taking advantage of whenever people do leave their car running," said Sheila Cole with the Anderson Sheriff's Office. "The best advice we have is don't do it."

If you have any information about the thefts, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC.

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