DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County Police released the May 27 security video from the QT on Wesley Chapel hoping it might help gas station customers be on alert for would-be car thieves.
In the video, you see a red Dodge Charger pull into the gas station from Rainbow Drive then circle the parking lot before easing in between two vehicles parked at gas pumps.
Lieutenant Brian DeLoach said the crime is growing in popularity in metro Atlanta and across the nation.
" It's really important for people to be alert and look around, not just on the phone or staring at how much you're spending on gas. If you see someone circling the pumps over and over again and they never pull into a pump to get gas or go inside the store, that's definitely a reason to be suspicious," said the lieutenant.
Good Samaritan Freeman Fields is credited for distracting the young man who got out of the red Dodge Charger and opened the back door of a 2016 Chevy Tahoe. Latonya Roanes three children, 5, 9, and 11 years old, were in the backseat, too stunned to scream.
" I really feel like I had a guardian angel watching over me, Roane told Fox 5 Portia Bruner just days after her encounter with the would-be car thief.
Freeman, who happened to be inside QT after church that day, said he was happy to be in a position to help.
"Once I saw him crouching down, I started yelling at her to try to get her attention, but she couldn't hear me, so I yelled at him and that's when he got in the car and sped away," said Fields.
QT spokesman Mike Thornbrough told Bruner he hopes the release of the video will help police apprehend the man responsible for frightening customers.
"We believe our outstanding surveillance video can be a good tool for law enforcement," he said.