A North Carolina woman who kept a handgun exposed in the open center console of her car had it stolen from her in what appears to be a crime of opportunity:

The victim was sitting in her vehicle at the Kangaroo Express at 3225 Pleasant Garden Road about 3:30 a.m. when a man walked up to her car, according to police.

The man began talking to her when he reached into her car and grabbed a handgun that was sitting on the center console of the car, police said.

The man pointed the handgun at the woman and ordered her to drive away, according to police. The woman drove off, then called law enforcement.

Here in NC, you can open carry a handgun in your car, but only if it is clearly visible. Open carrying on the body in NC while driving can be considered “concealed” if you body obscures an officer’s view of the weapon while in a seated position.

Because the law is intentionally vague on what that means, the only safe way to open carry in a vehicle in the state is to off-body carry in the car, with the handgun typically being carried either in an open console, or jammed between the seat and the console (the article wasn’t clear on which was the case here, nor does it really matter).

Why the woman would be talking to a complete stranger at 3:30 AM with her window wide open and the weapon completely exposed… well, not everyone is the most situationally aware.

The now-armed robber has not yet apparently been caught.

Update: I added some additional information about how NC law defines open carry in a vehicle, and how NC open carriers comply with that requirement while in vehicles.