“Sliding,” a new type of crime popular among purse snatchers, is on the rise.
When you hear the term “sliders,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Some might think of sliding doors, or delicious mini hamburgers sold during happy hour. Few people connect the term with criminal activity. Unfortunately, the term is being used more and more often by law enforcement when describing a new type of purse snatching. But what is it?
Sliding is a new technique being used to steal purses and other valuables from vehicles.
Since 2013, sliding has been used by purse snatchers as a method to steal from unsuspecting victims. Not only is the crime easy to pull off, but it is carried out without the victim ever seeing the culprit. The crime itself plays out when a motorist drives up to a gas station to fill the gas tank. While the motorist is busy pumping gas or going inside to pay or grab a coffee, another car pulls up next to the motorist’s car, making it look like they’re pumping gas at the other gas pump.
From there, the purse snatcher “slides” over to the victim’s car, opens the door, and steals any valuables, such as purses, wallets, loose change, and anything else they can get their hands on. Because of how easy they are to grab, purses are most commonly taken. They’re easy targets, thanks in large part to their straps. Briefcases, laptop bags, and expensive devices, like tablets and smartphones, are also commonly stolen.
Although there haven’t been any studies done to determine whether the slider phenomenon is actually increasing over time, the fact remains that it is a popular tactic used by purse snatchers. Fortunately, the media are helping to sound the alarm on this latest tactic, so you can take the necessary precautions to ward off these sneaky thieves.
What precautions can we take to protect against “sliders?”
Although it’s unlikely that a horde of sliders will be wreaking havoc on your local gas station parking lots in the near future, there are steps you can take to protect your valuables from a would-be thief that singles out your vehicle. For starters, when you visit gas stations to fill your tank or grab a coffee for the road, be aware of your surroundings and get in the habit of turning off your engine and locking your vehicle when you leave it.
If you notice someone approaching your vehicle or standing a bit too close, let them know you know they’re there by uttering a quick hello or nod your head in greeting. Also, try to avoid leaving valuables in clear sight. Why tempt a would-be thief into bashing your vehicle windows in to steal your belongings?
Although sliding is relatively new, it doesn’t mean you have to be frightened about filling your gas tank.
By taking the right steps to avoid being targeted, you will help ensure this latest burglary tactic doesn’t get too out of hand. Just remember to remain aware of your surroundings, and if you see someone acting suspicious, don’t be afraid to say something or contact a member of your local law enforcement to look into the matter.