A woman is warning others to pay attention after her SUV was stolen while she was pumping gas in northern Virginia.
Allison Priebe owns a small designer jewelry business and was on her way from a big sale at 1 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. She stopped at a gas station on South Patrick Street in Old Town Alexandria.
“I didn’t even get a full gallon into my car, before the assailant slipped in the passenger side of the door, locked me out of my car,” Priebe told WTOP.
Inside her Lexus SUV was her laptop, cell phone and all of the money she made from the sale.
Her car was unlocked at the time, Priebe said.
“He was, you know, figuring out how to start my car,” Priebe said. “It’s a keyless entry. So all he had to do was push the button and he was gone in literally 60 seconds.”
The man drove away. Priebe said they’re still searching for her SUV.
“I was screaming, you know, ‘let me in, get out,’ you know, ‘no, help me.'”
Right after her SUV was stolen, she said she ran inside and asked the gas station attendant to call police.
She then used the phone called her daughter to see if they could track her cell phone.
“She was able to track it as it went over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and then within six minutes of the car being stolen, the cell phone was turned off,” she said.
Priebe said the man drove away and bought gas at another nearby gas station before buying gift cards at a nearby Target. Her experience is one of many in the region as police see an increase in stolen vehicles during the pandemic. So far this year, the City of Alexandria has one confirmed carjacking case.
“We need to stay vigilant and we need to look out for one another,” Priebe said.
She said it’s important to make sure your car’s tracking features are turned on. Priebe said she didn’t know that the tracking features in her SUV needed to be set up first in order to be tracked.
Priebe said you should make sure there is some sort of tracking feature on and ready to go in your vehicle.
“I only had the car for 13 months, so I didn’t know I didn’t have those features on,” she said. “You don’t know what you don’t know until it’s a little bit too late.”
The Alexandria Police Department has released photos of the suspects and say they are actively looking for men behind the stolen SUV.