AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Department Auto Theft Unit has received more than a dozen reports of a scam since the beginning of 2018 in which teenage Hispanic females solicit rides to nearby locations from primarily Spanish-speaking men.

The thieves often request to be taken to a gas station or store to use the location as a ploy to get the drivers out of the vehicle before stealing it.

Authorities recommend people should never give rides to strangers or leave running vehicles unattended.