Richmond County Investigators Warn People About Slider Thieves - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Richmond County Investigators Warn People About Slider Thieves; Car Break-ins

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Augusta, GA -

It's a new crime that targets parked cars.

Richmond County investigators call it slider theft and say thieves typically strike at gas stations.

This video shows a crime in progress that investigators call slider theft.

Crooks target people at gas stations – they drive next to a car, see if it's open, steal, and drive off 

"I just read about it the other day and how you go into pay for gas, and someone reaches in and takes your purse. Just lock your doors and take everything with you,"said Sharley Speed.

Richmond County investigators say slider crooks have not hit Augusta just yet but they are seeing a rash of car break-ins. The top 3 spots in our area include GRU Athletic Complex, West Wheeler Parkway, and downtown Augusta.

Deputies say in more than 70-percent of the cases, items were left in plain sight.

"I always lock my doors, make sure my purse is hidden it and keep all valuables out of plain sight," said Sharley Speed.

"Obviously, lock your doors, be familiar with the area. Go to a gas station that is well lit and keep your cell phone with you in case you have to dial 911, and lock your doors," said Sgt. Shane McDaniel.

Investigators say most car break-ins happen at gas stations and after 10 at night.

"It's very scary – you don't have to keys now for a lot of cars so if you're pumping gas, someone can just hop in and take your car," said Speed.

"What you don't want is someone that leaves the gas running, they left their keys, and then went in the store. You're setting yourself up for a major problem," said Lt. Lewis Blanchard.

Officers say sometimes thieves even use tennis balls to unlock your car door – because of the air pressure created.

The slippery sliders have struck all across the country from Tampa to New York – but luckily not here in Augusta.  But investigators say that doesn't mean the crime wave won't come to the Garden City.

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