Gas station crime victims hope for end to crime wave

After several high-profile cases of crimes at the pump-- including an ordeal surrounding Queen Latifah's vehicle stolen by car thieves-- some of the countless other victims targeted by similar criminals hope the publicity surrounding these cases brings leaders to take swift action.

"Nothing is going to be done about the problem until something happens to somebody important," said James Reid, whose brother 44-year-old Kenneth Oglesby was brutally killed , police tell FOX 5, by suspected carjackers at a South Fulton County gas station. The ordeal happened in October at the Chevron gas station off Roosevelt Highway.

"You can rob somebody or get their purse or car, but you can't replace a life," Reid said, whose family is still struggling with their loss, and hopes no other families will endure such a tragedy.

Another recent theft that sent shock waves through Metro Atlanta was the hijacking of a vehicle owned by Marvin Arrington, Sr., a former Fulton County Superior Court judge and former president of the Atlanta City Council. The incident happened Friday, December 23rd, at the BP gas station off Cascade Road, which has also been the site of numerous other similar crimes.

His son, Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington, Jr., expressed to FOX 5 his frustration and anger with what he calls the slow response of action by Fulton County officials, especially since he had attempted to address the issue with other county leaders, days before.

"This is an anomaly. This is not OK. We have to put a stop to this," Arrington, Jr. said; the commissioner had proposed harsher legal penalties for gas stations with significant spikes in crimes. 

Arrington, Jr. said current county ordinances allow liquor and alcohol licenses of gas stations to be revoked, after an exorbitant amount of crime incidents; the commissioner proposed, if gas stations hire security, their licenses would not be taken away.

The proposed ordinance did not gain traction or support from other board members, on the Dec. 21 meeting.

A spokesperson for Chairman John Eaves said the head of the Board of Commissioners said Arrington, Jr.'s measure would unfairly financially penalize businesses, but hoped for different solutions to address the problem and work with business leaders and law enforcement.

Eaves released this statement:

“It is unfortunate and troubling when anyone’s vehicle is carjacked,” said Fulton County Chairman John Eaves.  “No one should be afraid they’ll become the next target while they do something as simple as pump gas. We are aware of the growing concern about crime and are working to unveil a sweeping action plan in the days ahead.”

Eaves plans an emergency meeting to address the issue, Tuesday, January 3, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Fulton County Government Center, 6th floor conference room, 141 Pryor Street SW, in Atlanta.