After Queen Latifah’s car stolen, ‘slider’ crimes down in south Fulton


Months after a spate of car thefts and other thefts from gas stations caught the attention of metro Atlanta residents, Fulton County police said the trend has subsided.

“We have what we consider to be very early good news,” Fulton County Police Chief Gary Stiles said about the drop in crime. “I think we’re all on the right track.”

The theft of vehicles belonging to the actress Queen Latifah and retired superior court judge Marvin Arrington, Sr., highlighted an increase in so-called “slider” crimes late last year. Police in unincorporated Fulton County, Atlanta and other cities saw a sharp increase in thefts where someone slides into an unlocked car and takes the car, or items in it — especially at gas stations, where people often left their cars unlocked as they pumped.

Stiles had identified nearly two dozen people, most of them juvenile offenders, as the perpetrators of the majority of the crimes. As of Friday, he said, more than half of them were in jail — a large reason for the decrease.

The suspects had been arrested before, but were often let out of jail on bond, only to commit crimes again, Stiles said. He said talking to juvenile court judges allowed police to let the court system know when they were dealing with repeat offenders.

“These criminals, they deal with in a slightly different fashion,” Stiles said. “With the open lines of communication, I don’t think we’ll have this problem again.”

In addition to letting the courts know about repeat offenders, Stiles said bail was being set at a higher level for these crimes, making it more difficult for people to get out on bond and offend again.

Fulton County has also allocated money for ankle monitors to help track offenders who are not in jail. And Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves said he expected to spend close to $1 million on youth programs that would support job training and help further reduce crime.

“It may be too soon to claim complete victory, but we’re moving in the right direction,” Eaves said.

Between October and December, there were 245 slider crimes in Union City, unincorporated Fulton County and the hardest-hit part of Atlanta, according to statistics from Fulton County police. For the first three months of this year, the number had fallen to 73, a 70 percent decrease.

The true test, Stiles said, will be to see how the trend continues throughout the year. In March, there were just six such crimes in unincorporated Fulton County, as opposed to 38 last October.

Though the south part of the county was the hardest hit, the crimes happened across metro Atlanta. In addition to the arrests, a campaign to get people to lock their cars while they pump gas has also had an effect, Stiles said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Cobb County restaurant inspection scores

Cobb County • Food Big Apple, 2727 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. 80/B • McDonald’s, 5145 Cowan Road, Acworth. 85/B • Paleteria La Delicia, 1869 Cobb Parkway, Marietta. 91/A • Tapestry at the Old Mill, 4271 Southside Drive, Acworth. 100/A
Gridlock Guy: Our city’s parking problems are a reflection of our traffic woes
Gridlock Guy: Our city’s parking problems are a reflection of our traffic woes

Atlanta gets more flack than Roberta about how slow its traffic moves. While rush hour, lack of mass transit, and often just plain sloppy organization with big events are killing drivers softly with a very slow song, another vehicular problem needs consideration. Businesses, organizations, and cities need to do better with how they handle parking....
Cherokee County restaurant inspection scores

Cherokee County • Arby’s, 1461 Riverstone Parkway, Canton. 87/B • Bojangles, 1665 Ball Ground Highway, Canton. 91/A • Five Guys, 1359 Riverstone Parkway, Canton. 99/A • Hong Kong City, 12050 Highway 92, Woodstock. 78/C • Pizza Hut, 12050 Highway 92, Woodstock. 95/A
Fulton County restaurant inspection scores

Fulton County • Church’s Chicken, 860 Bankhead Highway, Atlanta. 92/A • Goldberg’s Bagels and Deli, 1272 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. 94/A • Hikari at Johns Creek, 10820 Abbott’s Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 91/A • Johnny’s N.Y. Style Pizza, 5495 Cascade Road, Atlanta. 86/B • Stop Bop Go, 4000 Old Milton...
Coweta County restaurant inspection scores

Coweta County • Big Chic, 7280 E. Highway 16, Senoia. 86/B • Mother’s Kitchen, 33 ½ E. Broad St., Newnan. 99/A • Neighborhood Corner Café, 12 Bonnell St., Newnan. 90/A • O’Charley’s, 545 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan. 87/B • Southern Country Restaurant, 34 Chestlehurst Road, Senoia. 95/A
More Stories