The next time you pull up to a gas station, keep an eye out for “sliders.” According to multiple recent reports, a new crime trend, which consists of individuals stealing women’s purses from their vehicles at gas stations, is on the rise around the country.
According to ABC News, “slider” attacks, which consist of pulling up next to parked car at a gas pump and stealing a women's belongings by sliding through passenger side doors before speeding off, have been reported across the country from Corbin, Ky., all the way to Tampa, Fla. "They’re not looking for a confrontation; they just want the property, because they know it’s being left abandoned and you’re not paying attention,” said Houston Police Department Officer Jim Wood, who claimed most victims don’t realize they have been robbed until after the culprit has already fled the scene.
One victim, Susan Dankowski, told the "Today" Show Wednesday that not only she was robbed by a slider, but that she also witnessed a similar thief in action just minutes after her own bag was stolen from her vehicle at the pump. “I ran out, and I started yelling, ‘He’s robbing you. He’s robbing you.’ I didn’t want it to happen to her. It just happened to me. It’s an awful feeling,” she said, calling the entire trend disturbing. “I never even thought to lock my doors, because I was standing right there next to my car.”
Although some “sliders” are apprehended, most are never caught leaving women as easy targets to future culprits. So just how do you protect yourself from the latest crime trend? Officer Wood said it is all about practicing loss prevention. “It’s your [property], protect it. The easiest way to protect is keep it locked it, keep it with you and don’t leave it in the vehicle unoccupied,” he said. Authorities have also recommended that women roll up their passenger-side windows to protect themselves against the crime that reportedly takes only 19 seconds to complete.