EAST POINT - A Roswell woman is still in shock after her car was stolen in broad daylight while she was pumping gas near Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
11Alive has learned that is the fourth time in a week that has happened.
11Alive's Chris Hopper is holding the powerful accountable and asking East Point Police what they're doing to stop the crimes.
The Chevron station where it happened is on Virginia Avenue just down the street from the airport. It’s one of the last stops to get gas before travelers can drop off their rental car, but the woman who stopped there Thursday night and had her car stolen wants everyone to beware.
“I was just sort of in shock really like wow that just happened,” said Stella Dowling, her car was stolen.
Dowling still can’t believe it happened.
“Decided you know what I’ll just go and get off at the exit, the Virginia Avenue exit and get some gas,” she said.
It was 7:30 Thursday night. Dowling had a few minutes before her friend’s flight landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, so she stopped at the Chevron station for gas.
She said as soon as she got out to pump she said a young man jumped in. “I turned around and said hey what are you doing and about that time he sped off.”
East Point Police said this is the fourth time this has happened at the station in a week.
The Chevron manager constantly patrols the lot, warning drivers, while looking for suspicious vehicles.
11Alive tried to talk to the owner but he didn’t want to go on camera.
Earlier this year, Fulton County admitted 22 repeat offenders between the ages of 15 and 17 were to blame for nearly 70% of the so-called gas station “slider crimes” in 2016.
The major 11Alive talked to from the East Point Police department said this is a common problem throughout metro Atlanta, and it’s important for drivers to be vigilant.
“I feel very lucky that I wasn’t injured, that there were no guns involved,” said Dowling.
11Alive asked East Point Police if there’s anything the department can do to specifically deter this kind of crime.
The person 11Alive spoke to said they can step up in patrols in certain situations but in this case, the burden is really on the driver to take the keys out of the car and lock the vehicle while they pump gas.
WHAT ARE SLIDER CRIMES?
Earlier this year, Fulton County admitted 22 repeat offenders between the ages of 15 and 17 were to blame for nearly 70% of the so called gas station "slider crimes" in 2016.
Back in April, Commissioner Chairman Eaves, along with the Fulton County Police Chief Gary Stiles and Major Wade Yates, held a press conference that discussed the recent decline in slider crimes in South Fulton and neighboring counties.
So, what is a slider crime? Basically, a person will “slide” into the car of someone at a gas station who is busy doing something like pumping gas or possibly just not paying attention, and either rob them of their belongings and “slide” out of the car again or just steal the car altogether.
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