January 21, 2019
In the wake of the January 15 officer-involved shooting in southwest Atlanta, the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores (GACS) reminds gas customers to lock their cars when pumping gas.
The shooting occurred on Whitehall Street at around 7:30 pm. The incident began as a slider crime, according to the GBI. A police officer was pumping gas when the suspect slid into the driver’s seat of his unmarked car and drove away. The officer opened fire, and the suspect was dead on the scene.
“Slider crimes” occur when a thief approaches an unlocked parked vehicle, slides into the vehicle, and either drives away or steals the vehicle’s contents. These crimes happen quickly.
“This incident is a wake-up call that this type of crime can happen to anyone, anywhere and anytime,” Angela Holland, GACS President, said. “Locking your car door at the gas pump should be part of your routine just like wearing a seat belt or locking your front door.”
GACS asks convenience store retailers to post Park Protect Pump decal signs at their pumps. The signs are a way to remind customers to lock their vehicles and add another layer of security support at convenience store locations.
Convenience stores typically have security measures in place including exterior security cameras, illuminated parking lots, unobstructed views from cash register to the outside, silent alarms, uniforms and name badges for employees, as well as other measures for customers and employees. “Our members want customers to feel at home when they shop with us. Naturally and routinely, when we are at home, we lock our doors,” says Holland.