Police have arrested a woman for allegedly stealing purses on two different occasions, and in both instances, they said the owners of those purses were only feet from their belongings.
But purse snatching is not just happening in Berks County. It is happening across the country, mostly at gas stations.
Maria Kolevas drove up to a gas station like any other driver to fuel up her vehicle, but instead of just jumping out and grabbing the nozzle, she did something a bit different.
"I always lock the car door. Always," said driver Maria Kolevas.
That is because Kolevas does not want to fall victim to a crime known as 'sliding'. How it works is, while the driver gets out of the car to fuel up, another vehicle pulls up beside the car and a person jumps out to grab a purse or other valuables that may be lying on the seat. Then they are gone within seconds.
Drivers near Reading said they were shocked to hear this is happening across the country.
"That is crazy, seriously crazy. I am holding on to my purse right now as we speak because you never know who is going to pull up and just take your purse or anything for that matter," said Josefina Serrano.
Police said these types of crimes can happen anywhere, and it is important to always be aware of your surroundings.
"People have to be vigilant with what they are doing and pay attention to what is going on because these people are just going into their unlocked cars while they are standing there and taking their purses. So be careful," said Detective George Bell, Wyomissing Police Dept.
Wyomissing police arrested the suspect in Berks County and charged her with robbery, theft and related charges. So far, there have been no reports of thefts at gas stations, but police are warning residents to always be alert.