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New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson was the victim of attempted automobile theft in New Orleans last weekend, according to A man reportedly entered Benson’s car in order to try to steal it while Benson was still inside the vehicle. Benson reacted as most people in such a situation would: she screamed at the individual to get out. The intruder complied and left the vehicle without incident. The police are now on the search for a suspect. 

Here’s a description of the event from the police:  

According to police, someone parked a white Nissan Titan directly next to [Benson’s] car in the 6200 block of South Claiborne Avenue about 2:15 p.m. last Saturday, Oct. 10. A man emerged from the Titan and got into Benson’s car, police said. The man got back into the Titan and fled when Benson ordered him out of her car, police said.

Police said they didn’t classify the crime as an attempted carjacking because there’s no evidence the man realized Benson was in the vehicle when he got in. Investigators haven’t named any suspects in the case and asked anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Benson was lucky to leave the encounter unscathed as things could have gone in a different direction. 

“While she was very shaken at the time, she was unharmed and is doing fine,” longtime Saints and Pelicans spokesman Greg Bensel said in a statement about the situation. “She wanted to send her sincere gratitude to the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department that responded so quickly and professionally.”  

Benson, 73, became the principal owner of both the Saints and Pelicans following the death of her husband Tom in 2018. She is the first woman to be the controlling owner of both an NBA and NFL franchise simultaneously. 


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