Police see drastic spike in criminals targeting people pumping gas

Police see drastic spike in criminals targeting people pumping gas

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — Police are warning drivers to be alert after a spike in "slider" thefts at metro Atlanta gas stations.

Channel 2's Craig Lucie is in Conyers, where police they are averaging more than one slider theft a week.

Sliders are thieves who creep into doors and windows to grab your things while you are filling up at the gas station.

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Police showed Lucie multiple videos showing the crimes.

In one, taken at a QT off I-20 in Conyers, a thief tries one car and finds it locked before targeting another woman.

In the video, you can see a man pulling on the door handle and staying crouched down, Fortunately, that woman's car was locked. But seconds later, the same thieves targeted another woman, grabbing her belongings. She chased them, but they got away after nearly hitting a man in the parking lot.

Police are looking at six separate crimes starting Dec. 10 up until Jan. 1.

On Wednesday, Cobb County police emailed Lucie and said they had six slider thefts as well. This week, we told you police arrested four teenagers in connection to a slider theft in the City of South Fulton.

During a slider crime in Coweta County in November, it took a thief only 30 seconds to jump into one mother's car with her daughter and dog inside and drive away. The thief eventually dropped the child and family pet off in Union City unharmed.

Conyers police Sgt. Buck Vaughn said there is a common theme -- stolen cars.

"We have a silver Lexus stolen from Cobb County (that has) since been recovered," Vaughn said.

Three people have been arrested, but the crimes are still happening. In one, the incident almost turned deadly.

"The would-be victim interrupted, and gunshots were fired at the victim by the suspects," Vaughn said.

Police said thieves are targeting a cluster of gas stations near I-20 because of the easy access to the highway.

Many drivers Lucie spoke to said they are always alert.

"I tell my wife too, in the daytime, you go pump gas, lock all the doors," Dexter Cunningham said. "I think it's crazy people go up to a car while pumping gas, especially if you got kids in the car. It was ridiculous."

Conyers police said the most important thing you can do if this happens to you while you are pumping gas is to never confront the suspects. Police advise you to gather as much information about their car and the way they look and report it to police.