COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Widespread attention to crooks who steal from your cars while you pump gas in one area may have forced the thieves to target a neighboring county.
Customers in Cobb County say they have been hit hard by criminals who used to target south Fulton County.
Channel 2’s Tom Jones went to Veteran’s Memorial Highway Monday where police are urging drivers to be on the lookout.
The area is not far from Cascade Road which had been a major problem for car thefts.
Police reports show criminals have stolen from customers at a Race Trac and a Chevron gas station.
Wayne Jordan left his car parked as he ran into a business on Veteran's Memorial Highway last May.
“Was in there for less than 42 seconds turned around the car was gone,” Jordan said.
Jordan thinks the car thief may have targeted him as he gassed up at the Race Trac across the street.
He then heard about other car thefts and thefts from cars in the area.
“I've been telling them make sure you keep your truck locked,” store manager Khan Muhammad told Jones.
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Thieves slipped into delivery trucks and stole thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes from the Chevron station nearby.
They also broke into an employee’s black Hummer.
“It's been going on in this area I think for the last two or three months,” Muhammad said.
Incident reports from the Race Trac show it has been hit multiple times by “sliders,” or crooks who steal from cars while you pump your gas.
Customers at the Race Trac on South Cobb Drive have also been targeted. A thief slipped into Jacqueline Scott's car and stole her iPhone.
“I had to buy a whole new phone which cost me $700,” Scott told Jones.
Jordan thinks police should have publicized the incidents.
“When I look on the news I see south Fulton 24/7,” Jordan said.
Police say criminals may have migrated because of the attention to the south Fulton County area.
They urge customers to lock their cars, don't leave valuables inside and pay attention to your surroundings.
Scott is following that advice.
“When I get out the car and go in I lock everything,” he told Jones.
Police say this is a crime of opportunity and when criminals are successful they keep coming back.
Cox Media Group