East County driver warns of gas station 'sliders'

SPRING VALLEY, Calif. (KGTV) - A local woman believes she was the target of a so-called "slider" targeting drivers at gas stations.

Just past noon on Wednesday at the Arco on Jamacha Road, Blanca Maye finished filling up and then noticed a white sedan pull up next to her.

Inside the car was a casually dressed man, about 30 years old. She said he glanced at her car a few times and that made her pause. She locked up her car, after collecting some trash from it.

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"I was walking toward the trash can, and I remember hearing someone grab my door handle," said Maye.

She says when she looked back there he was: the same man right next to her door, quickly walking away toward the cashier.

Upset, Maye stared at him and then drove away with her purse safely sitting on the floor of her car. Others haven't been so lucky.  

Recently, police in the Los Angeles area sent out video of "sliders" in action: thieves pulling up - and while the driver is distracted - getting low and sneaking toward the car to steal valuables. Police warned these incidents on the rise in Southern California and the target is usually women who are alone.

"People don't expect this to happen at gas station. You're literally there for two minutes at the most.  I expect to pump my gas, not to get robbed," said Maye.

Authorities remind drivers to lock their doors, remove their keys and close their windows when stopping at the fill up.

San Diego police say they haven't noticed a spike in sliding incidents.

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