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GACS President: Businesses Being Held Responsible For Fulton County’s ‘Sliders’ Problem


Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 09:18 am

by Angela Holland/president, Georgia Association of Convenience Stores

GACS’ Angela Holland and Jennie Nesspor.
Angela Holland

“Sliders” are not just small burgers in Atlanta. They also are persons who slide from one vehicle to another while the owner/driver is pumping gas. Many times, they steal valuables from the car, but if one leaves their keys in the car, they simply steal the car.

According to Fulton County Police Chief Gary Stiles, 22 juveniles are responsible for 70 percent of these crimes during 2016, a year that saw an increase from 130 to 330 sliders crimes in a year. One would believe that the justice system would allow for these juveniles to be detained and tried for their actions, but that’s not the case. Instead, they are arrested, booked and shortly thereafter released. And with no real punishment, they are back in convenience store parking lots to commit crime.

Thus far, the knee-jerk reaction to these crimes is to hold the convenience store owner responsible. Now, owners in Fulton County are required to hire a security guard during hours of operations or forgo their alcohol license. I’m not sure when it became a business owner’s job to “take the law into their own hands.” Of course, every studious business owner should do what they can to limit crime on their property because it certainly reduces property value and puts employees and customers in danger. But should we, as a community, desire for business owners to have armed security guards on duty all the time?

Picture this scenario: you are pumping gas (your keys are in the ignition), a kid jumps in and pulls off, gas flowing unto the pavement, you are stunned, you go in the store and call 9-1-1.

Now picture a new scenario: you are pumping gas (keys still in ignition), a kid jumps in and starts to pull off, gas flowing onto the pavement, you are stunned, security guard pulls gun, shots fired, car wrecks, kid is dead…

What happened to helping these kids? Where are their parents? Are they in school? Are they in extracurricular activities? If they are part of the “system,” why is the system failing them? Is this gang initiation crime? Why aren’t the police using the gang statutes to hold these individuals? Why should convenience store owners provide security when the perpetrators are not held accountable for their actions? What is really in place to stop this crime?

During a Fulton County brainstorming session on Jan. 3, a county commissioner provided information indicating 71 percent of slider crimes in 2016 occurred at only five convenience stores. Four of the five have no more than five miles between them, and two of them are located nearly across the street from one another. In moderate traffic, one could travel to four of the five locations in roughly 20 minutes. What’s happening in this community that has caused human beings to have so little respect for one another?

Naturally, convenience stores don’t want to be victims, but alas, they are in this situation—victims of these criminals, victims of a lack of police patrols and now victims of the local government and communities that we so strongly support.


About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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