A would-be slider targeted a woman at the gas pump in Conyers. She targeted him right back.
It happened at 8:32 Tuesday evening, July 2, at the Abbott Ridge BP off Sigman Road. Rockdale County Sheriff's Deputy Lee Thomas says video shows the suspect creeping toward the woman's Dodge Challenger after he was dropped off by someone in another vehicle. The man is crouched low as he approaches the far side of the white car, with its driver door standing open.
"While she was pumping gas, she didn't realize that he had slid into the vehicle through the passenger door until he was behind the driver's [wheel]," Thomas tells WSB.
As the man revved the engine, the car's owner reacted quickly.
"When she noticed that he was in there, she actually took the gas hose and doused him with gasoline," says Thomas.
The suspect darted out of the vehicle and ran back toward his buddy's car, a silver Chrysler 300. The sheriff's office says it is a first-generation model, from the model years 2005-2010. They believe at least two other people were inside.
Thomas says this is the first time he's heard of someone fighting off a slider this way.
"I think it was very good. She obviously had good situational awareness of her surroundings to react that way," he says.
Still, Deputy Thomas advises that everyone take steps to prevent themselves from becoming burglary victims--even close calls such as this one.
"We have a "Lock It or Lose It" campaign that we've had going on for some while now. What we're trying to get the citizens to try and do is to make sure that they're aware of their surroundings. Lock the vehicle, and by no means should they ever leave it running," Thomas says.
The suspect's description is somewhat vague, as he appears to be a slim black male standing 5'10" to 6'0" tall. But Thomas says one thing would tip off people who might have come across him after the crime:
"Probably smelled of gasoline, definitely."