How Saints owner Gayle Benson stopped man from stealing car


Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson can play her own defense.

Benson was in her parked car last Saturday in New Orleans when a man allegedly tried to steal it, but she screamed for him to get out and did so successfully as she came away from the incident unharmed, police and Saints officials said, according to

“I can confirm that an incident did occur in Orleans Parish involving Mrs. Benson while she was in her vehicle,” Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said in a statement. “While she was very shaken at the time, she was unharmed and is doing fine. She wanted to send her sincere gratitude to the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department that responded so quickly and professionally. We cannot comment further as this is an active investigation.”

The 73-year-old Benson was reportedly sitting in the back of her car, with her driver inside a business, when a white Nissan Titan parked next to her. A man allegedly got out of the Titan and into Benson’s car, but exited when she ordered him to leave and fled the scene.

The incident is being classified as an attempted auto theft, not an attempted carjacking, because there’s no proof the man knew Benson was in the car when he got in, according to

Police had not identified any suspects as of Saturday.

Benson has been the principal owner of the Saints and Pelicans since 2018, when she took over for her late husband Tom.

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