LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It's a shocking new crime trend, thieves are stealing from women as they pump gas just feet away.
It's been dubbed 'sliding' and while there are reports from across the country, cases are now popping up here at home.
It doesn't matter if you're headed home to work or to the store. Criminals are always looking for the perfect crime of opportunity and in this case, women are the targets.
"You don't even feel safe pumping gas," said Kay Curley, driver.
"As soon as you walk in to pay or as soon as you turn your back, it's just a matter of reaching into that car and taking what you want," said Detective Jon Fischer with Louisville Metro Police.
It's happening across the country.
"If the gas pump is on the other side of vehicle and you're facing away from me for me to come up and keep my eyes on you and make sure you're not seeing me and then I get your door open without making any noise," explained Fischer. "If your purse is sitting right here, it's obviously unattended and then I'm out of here. If I got a car waiting, I may not even shut your door, I may just take off running and it's just that simple. It's less than five seconds to get your stuff."
Surveillance video from Miami, Washington DC, and Houston shows the criminals sliding below eye level of the door to sneak in and grab what they can. That's why these crooks are known as 'sliders'.
"They're like water, they like the path of least resistance, so that's what they are looking for," said Fischer.
It's alarming to watch and if you think it's only happening in bigger cities, you're wrong. "So if you aren't locking your door, that's where they are going to go," said Fischer.
Last month police say a Marathon gas station on Shepherdsville Road became the perfect spot for a thief to prey on a victim. Security video is rolling as the guy rolls up and waits for the woman to go inside and pay.
"As he is looking in the car, he's making sure is anybody else in the car first of all and checks that [passenger] door handle and sees that it is locked, but he sees her stuff over there on the other side, so he goes ahead and makes a move for it," said Fischer.
In less than 10 seconds he's in, he's out, he's off.
"Yeah it is a little concerning," said one woman driver.
"We need to not make it so easy for these criminals," said Fischer.
Police say all you have to do is make sure you protect yourself at the pump is to always have your keys with and make sure to lock your door, even if you are just a few steps away.
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