New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson was the victim of an attempted auto theft last Saturday afternoon, a team spokesperson and New Orleans police confirmed to The Washington Post. Benson, 73, was not harmed in the incident.

“I can confirm that an incident did occur in Orleans Parish involving Mrs. Benson while she was in her vehicle,” Saints and Pelicans spokesman Greg Bensel said Friday in a statement to The Post. “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 New Orleans Police Department did not identify Benson by name in a statement to The Post but confirmed the attempted auto theft occurred Saturday around 2:13 p.m. when a vehicle described as a white Nissan Titan parked next to a vehicle with Benson seated inside. Then, a subject “exited the Nissan Titan and entered the victim’s vehicle” before “the victim ordered the subject out of her vehicle. The subject exited the victim’s vehicle, re-entered the Nissan Titan and fled the scene.”

Police had not identified any suspects as of Friday.

Benson was in the back seat of her car while her driver entered a business near the vehicle, according to NOLA.com.

A New Orleans native, Benson assumed control of the Saints and Pelicans after her husband, Tom, died in 2018. Tom Benson purchased the Saints in 1985 and the Pelicans in 2012, when they were known as the Hornets.

In 2015, Tom Benson started a bitter family dispute when he broke off a planned succession of his Saints ownership to his daughter and two grandchildren and made Gayle, to whom had he been married since 2004, the sole heir. His daughter and grandchildren took him to court to claim he was mentally unfit to manage his affairs, but he was declared competent by the court.

A settlement of nonvoting shares of the Saints and Pelicans was reached between Tom Benson and his daughter and grandchildren in 2017.

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