ATLANTA - From a pregnant woman pumping gas to an Atlanta Falcons player stopping at a gas station, Atlanta police have noticed an alarming spike in violent slider car thefts across the city.
For the first time, Channel 2 Action News is learning which gas stations are being targeted the most.
Atlanta police told Channel 2's Michael Seiden the Quiktrip on Howell Mill Road and QuikTrip on Sidney Marcus Boulevard are hot spots for sliders looking to steal your car.
"There appears to be no fear of getting caught," said Maj. Barry Shaw.
Seiden rode along Monday with Shaw, who broke down the latest staggering numbers related to slider crimes. The Zone 2 commander has been tracking slider crimes in Buckhead since the beginning of the year
According to Shaw's statistics, Zone 2 officers have responded to 69 slider crimes where more than 150 guns were reported stolen from cars. Dozens of keys were also left inside.
The most shocking statistic? Thieves have gotten away with more than $173,296 in cash.
"Young criminals today. This is how they make their money," Shaw said.
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These crimes of opportunity are happening day and night mostly at gas stations, including a case back in January. Surveillance video captured the moment a thief drove off in a Dodge Challenger belonging to Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley.
On the ride-along, Seiden and Shaw stopped at the QuikTrip on Sidney Marcus Boulevard where they saw an armed security guard patrolling the parking lot.
“We need people to stop leaving keys in the car. Stop leaving guns in the car," Shaw said. "Everybody’s gotta pitch in on this."
Seiden reached out to QuikTrip corporate office and received this statement:
"QT places the safety of our employees and customers at the apex of what we do. All QT locations are monitored 24 hours a day by us at a central location, meaning our surveillance technology allows us to see both inside the store and our lot. We have added additional security and continue to work with law enforcement to address any issues at that location.”