Several suspects were arrested last week for robbing people in service stations. Whilst drivers' backs are turned as they fill up the tank, thieves were sneaking around to the passenger door to steal phones, purses, money, and any valuables they could lay hands on.
"The modus operandi consists in diverting the attention of the victims. Most people leave their phone, and money inside the car while they fill up," spokesperson for the Brussels Capital Ixelles police zone, Ilse Van De Keere stated.
La Dernière Heure reported a rise in the number of incidents being reported and that as a result, "police patrols are regularly directed preventively to the fuel pumps."
A specialized unit of the Brussels North police zone arrested one suspect for theft in Scharbeek on 8 January. The individual was seen looking inside multiple vehicles and tried to get inside two cars when the owners caught him.
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The culprit is known to have done this before. "It turns out that the individual is known to the police for five similar acts," says the spokesperson for the Brussels North Zone, "The man will have to appear before the criminal court via a direct summons."
The spokesperson recommends locking your car when refuelling and not leaving any valuable items in view. "If you are a victim of theft, it is advisable to go as quickly as possible to a police station and to bring the inventory of the stolen objects as well as the serial numbers, and if possible photos of these."