Have you heard about the “slider” crimes? Although it is a criminal act that likely happens in many of the major cities, as well as some smaller cities, it is not a common name that most people know. Basically, it involves someone sliding into your car while you are pumping gas on the other side and they take things such as purses, wallets, cell phones and so on, or just steal your whole car.
Theft from Motor Vehicle
Slider crimes can and do happen within feet of the unsuspecting victims, who often do not know that they have been victimized until after the suspect leaves the scene and they noticed their personal property is missing. These crimes have also happened in the presence of security officers and even police officers.
So how does it work? Simply speaking an unsuspecting person arrives at the gas pumps and gets out to fill their tank. While doing so the suspect slides into the opposite side of the car undetected and steals whatever they can get their hands on.
In other cases, people being unaware of who is around them will often get out of their car to run into a convenience store to get something quick and never lock their cars. Many times, the suspect is parked right next to the victim’s car and can get into it within seconds and then take off.
Crime Prevention Tips
One of the most basic principles of crime prevention is to be aware of your surroundings at all times, often referred to as situational awareness. Of course, it should be common sense to not leave your purse, wallet, or $1,000 smart phone in an unlocked vehicle. That includes whenever you have your back to your car even for a minute.
Another tip is to get out your car owner’s manual and look up the auto lock/unlock features that are programmed into most cars. You will find that there is a way to ensure that your doors do not all unlock when you put the car in park or remove the ignition key. Some people see this as a convenience, but do you really need all doors to unlock if you are the only person in the car?
When you have your car set up to unlock all doors when the transmission is put into park, or when you remove the ignition key, you are making it easy for anyone to join you in the car, including carjackers or others that are intent on causing you harm. Do not allow this to happen.
By reading your owner’s manual you will find that you can change the settings without having to go see the dealer and pay a hefty price for them to do it. It is not difficult to change the settings and I would encourage you to go do it right now. If you do not want to do it yourself, then by all means find someone who will or take it to the shop. You will be glad you did if you ever find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.
- When you are at the ATM make sure that your car is locked, even if you are in it.
- Common sense also tells us to never leave the car running unattended, yet people still do that and then wonder why their car was stolen.
- When you are pumping gas do not turn your back on your car.
- If you are pumping gas or running into a store, and then hear a car horn go off in the opposite direction, keep in mind that it may be a distraction to get you to look away and when you do someone could get into your car.
- Never ever leave valuables in your car in plain sight. Regardless if you know it is not worth anything. There was a time that a young lady had a purse stolen out of her car and she was complaining that there was nothing in, she asked “why would they break my window to get it.” Really? How did they know it did not contain valuables?
- Loose change in the cup holder is enough to get some people to smash your window to get it. Remember, every little bit helps when you need money for drugs or alcohol.
- When you take your car to the shop, remember to remove any cash/coins, your garage door opener, and any other items of value. Now in most cases your mechanic will probably not take anything, but do not take the chance; desperate times call for desperate measures. Also, do not leave all of your keys with the shop’s service writer, only leave the ignition key/fob.
- Also, never leave your children unattended in your car for any period of time. There are plenty of cases where parents have done so, to keep the heater or air conditioner on for the kids, and their cars were stolen with the kids still inside.
To see an example of a slider crime check out this video link.