Queen Latifah Brings Fulton Crime to the Spotlight
Vehicles are stolen on a daily basis, and the news rarely makes the headlines. That all changes when the victims are high-profile individuals. Such is the case in Atlanta. In recent weeks, retired superior court judge Marvin Arrington Sr. and actress Queen Latifah have both fallen victim to vehicle theft from gas stations in south Fulton County.
When vehicles are stolen from streets and parking lots, it tends to be thought of as “low profile.” When thieves start taking vehicles from gas stations and businesses, the ante is upped. The number of thefts in Fulton County is up 12 percent, and the number of thefts from vehicles has also risen. This rise in crime is prompting officials to determine how to solve the problem.
According to law enforcement, crimes such as these are often ones of opportunity and committed by young people. Juveniles take the vehicles to joyride or to be used during the commission of other crimes. While police and politicians do know that vehicle theft is on the rise, they do not have the numbers yet to determine whether thefts from places like gas stations is increasing. Still, those in charge are asking gas station and convenience store owners to take more responsibility for crime prevention on their properties.
A proposal has been issued asking that it be required that gas stations and convenience stores to implement improved security measures in order to maintain their alcohol licenses. Additionally, offering grants for these improvements is being discussed by county commissioners. There will also be talk of putting together teams of police to specifically target these crimes and to offer pre-trial programs to offenders similar to those that are offered by drug courts.
Despite the ideas that are being talked about, law enforcement officers and politicians are asking vehicle owners to be more aware of their own safety. People should lock their car doors when they get out, keep their keys with them, even when pumping gas, and to maintain an awareness of their surroundings. Most people don’t lock their vehicles when pumping gas, but are being asked to do so.
Other strategies being offered by law enforcement officials to aid the public in maintaining their safety and preventing their vehicles from being stolen:
- Only utilize gas stations that have proper lighting and apparent surveillance equipment.
- Place any valuables out of sight before exiting the car, even at the pump.
- Do not become distracted when pumping gas. Constantly scan the area and remain alert.
These recent thefts are not being considered carjackings, but the public should consider them just as potentially dangerous.
If you have been charged with a crime in DeKalb County, reach out to Hawkins Spizman Fortas. Our experienced attorneys are here for you and can offer you options with regards to your legal matters. Call and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.