Teen arrested, stolen gun recovered during ‘slider’ detail in Buckhead

Atlanta police made the arrest while surveilling the parking lot of a QT on Sidney Marcus Boulevard for slider crimes.
Atlanta police made the arrest while surveilling the parking lot of a QT on Sidney Marcus Boulevard for slider crimes.

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

A police detail at a Buckhead gas station last week netted a stolen gun and several stolen credit cards after a teenage boy took one look at an officer and bolted.

Atlanta police had stationed several officers at a QuikTrip on Sidney Marcus Boulevard to be on the lookout for slider crimes, which occur when a thief slides into an unattended vehicle to steal it or items inside. Singer and music producer Akon recently had his Range Rover stolen from the same gas station as he was distracted at the pump.

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The officers were in the parking lot only a few minutes May 31 before they noticed two young men “closely watching vehicles as they parked,” according to police spokesman Sgt. John Chafee. The officers stopped to talk to the men after observing them meander through the parking lot and look into at least one parked vehicle, he said.

Their encounter was recorded on body camera footage, portions of which were released Friday.

“As they talked, an officer noticed one of the males, 19-year-old Cedric Woods, was carrying a concealed handgun,” Chafee said. “When Mr. Woods saw the officer looking toward the weapon, he fled on foot.”

In the video, a man identified as Woods is shown leaning against a light pole before taking off and scrambling over a chain link fence. The officer radios that he saw a gun in the man’s pocket and jumps in his cruiser to follow him, quickly catching up to him at the entrance to a Target on Piedmont Road.

The officer appeared to point a nonlethal weapon at Woods before ordering to lie down and putting him in handcuffs. “Don’t make me hurt you,” he tells the teenager as he slowly lowers himself to the ground. Woods did not appear to have a handgun on him when he was detained.

The video shows an officer later spot a gun lying in the middle of a nearby furniture store’s parking lot, across the street from Target.

“Officers located the handgun and determined it was loaded and had been stolen during a recent vehicle theft on Peachtree Road in Zone 5,” Chafee said. “Officers also recovered three credit cards and a social security card which had been stolen during vehicle thefts or thefts from vehicles.”

Woods had a felony record and was not allowed to carry a gun, the spokesman said. He was arrested on charges of loitering, obstruction and weapons possession as well as multiple charges related to the thefts.

Officers in Buckhead’s Zone 2 have been on “heightened alert” for slider crimes, Chafee said, chalking up the arrest as a success toward that effort. The second man was not arrested and was released from the gas station parking lot.

On Tuesday, the police department said it had taken 827 reports of guns stolen from vehicles this year, all of which were preventable.

“We are often asked by the community, ‘What can we do to help reduce crime?’” the department said in a Facebook post. “We remind you that there are simple things like practicing responsible gun safety, choosing to deescalate situations rather than shooting someone, securing your vehicles, and paying attention to your surroundings are all things that can make a difference.”

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