HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – A woman was seriously injured Monday morning when she tried to fight back against the man who attempted to steal her purse from her car as she pumped gas, police said.

Investigators in Homestead are looking for the man they said tried to snatch a purse from the front seat of the victim’s car as she filled her tank from the other side of the vehicle.

“It is a common thing in South Florida and we just need to be a little bit more vigilant when pumping gas,” Homestead Police Detective Fernando Morales said.

Surveillance video showed the woman was run over by the man’s getaway vehicle as he fled the scene.

She was transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center in serious condition, Detective Fernando Morales said.

By Monday afternoon, her condition had been upgraded to fair, according to a hospital spokesperson.

The video captured at the Sunoco gas station on US 1 and SW 308 St. in Homestead at about 10:20am showed a man waiting in his vehicle as a woman put gas in her Nissan SUV at the next pump over.

The man lingers inside his dark SUV for a few minutes.

At times, he’s seen opening doors of his vehicle while looking around.

When he made his move to open the victim’s car door, she went after him.

That’s when he hopped back in his car and drove off, dragging the woman under the rear tire of his black Hyundai Santa Fe.

Investigators said the man exhibited all the tell-tale signs he was up to no good.

“He’s just standing by. (He’s) not fueling up, not doing anything,” Det. Morales said. “That’s a fantastic indicator that something is wrong here.”

Police say the key to not becoming a victim is being vigilant.

“The times we live in we open these doors for criminals to victimize us and we’re unaware of the things that we do,” Morales said.

Drivers we spoke to about the incident promised to be cautious.

“You guys have been telling us that for years,” driver Zella Pratt said about locking her car doors as she pumps gas. “I always lock the door or make sure someone is inside watching my purse.”

“I feel bad for the person this happened to,” she said.

Police did not release the victims name.

Investigators said she is scared for her safety.

Police said they’re looking for a Hispanic male in his early to mid twenties with short hair and a sculpted goatee.

He’s believed to be driving a newer model black Hyundai Santa Fe.

If you have any clues that can help the investigation, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

 

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