'Sliders' target women in gas stations - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

'Sliders' target women in gas stations


Crooks are waiting for you to not pay attention at the gas pump. The thieves are literally stealing purses while the women pump gas just feet away. It's been dubbed "sliding."

It was a routine day for Jenny Lane-Watson.

"Regular thing that you always do, just pull over and pump gas," Lane-Watson said. 

She was filling up at the gas pump, and on the phone with her husband while her 2-year-old son was in the back seat.  

"I was standing at the pump finishing everything up and he started to scream," she said. 

Lane-Watson never saw a stranger reach into her car, but her son did. 

"Well, he said - and I'll say it the exact same way he said it - he goes, 'Ma, some man took your purse!'" Lane-Watson said.

She was the victim of a popular crime happening all over the U.S. Surveillance video taken at gas stations around the country shows suspects are sliding up beside cars and quietly grabbing valuables.

They're called sliders, and women are their favorite victims.  

"My purse like always is usually on my passenger seat," said Lane-Watson. 

"I think it's just an easy mark," said Detective Mark Little. 

That's the problem. Most women pull up to the pump, leave their purse in plain sight and hop out of the car, never locking the door.  And you can't rely on gas station surveillance cameras to solve this crime.  

"Normally, you can't see tags, you can't see faces and stuff. You can substantiate what happened but you can't really determine who it was that did it," said Det. Little. 

The suspects who targeted Lane-Watson were caught in the act because police were conducting a sting after sliders were reported in the area. 

"The police were right across the street watching it happen," she said. 

"We got into a short chase, foot chase and we got them in custody," Det. Little added. 

Sliders are so stealthy, most victims don't notice they've been robbed until much later. Lane-Watson calls her son a hero.  

"I can't believe he was smart enough to tell me and that he was actually paying attention and I wasn't, which is what's so bad and so embarrassing," she said. 

It's a humbling lesson that should put everyone on alert. 

"They could have taken my child, and that would obviously scare anybody into never doing that again," she said. 

Don't just stand there watching the numbers on the pump rise. Stay alert and off the phone. Most importantly, lock your car doors while pumping gas. You never know when sliders will slither in to strike. 

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