EAST POINT, Ga. - Tuesday morning, thieves took off with a 2017 Mustang and left the driver behind still holding his key. As police agencies across metro Atlanta have reported a spike in "slider" crimes at gas stations, East Point Police reminded drivers to take more than basic precautions.
"I didn't think it was possible. I had my key on me," said Rubin Barksdale, who said he purposely removed his key fob from the vehicle while pumping air in his tires, to prevent thieves from sneaking into his car and taking off. Unfortunately, police said, the vehicle was in close-enough range to his push-start ignition car and the vehicle was able to start anyway.
"They can still get in your car and take it just as if they have your keys-- now that I know that," he said, and told FOX 5 he saw a thief take off with his Mustang and another vehicle follow it.
Police are still searching for that vehicle.
East Point Police said slider thieves have targeted and stolen two vehicles this week. Investigators told FOX 5, simply taking your keys out of your ignition is not enough to deter thieves from sneaking into your car, and should take the following precautions:
- Lock your vehicle as soon as you exit.
- Clear your car of any valuables that can be seen by thieves casing a gas station.
- Stash valuables in your trunk before you reach your destination.
- If your dashboard has a lock, consider that location as an option to secure items.
- Try to keep your wallet and cell phone on your person at all times, especially as you exit a vehicle.
- Pay attention to the individuals surrounding your car.