An unidentified suspect drove away with a newer-model Range Rover SUV belonging to seasoned musician Akon after he left the vehicle’s engine running while he was filling it with gas at an Atlanta service station.
According to 11Alive, the incident occurred at a gas station in the residential district of Buckhead. Though the suspect was able to drive off with the luxury vehicle, police were able to locate and recover it thanks to a tracking device on the Locked Up singer’s phone. The SUV was first pinned to a location in southwest Atlanta but it was eventually recovered around an area in Forest Part. The vehicle had been abandoned at the time of recovery.
A police report disclosed the Senegalese-American musician had a $25,000 diamond necklace as well as a $6,500 Louis Vuitton bag in the vehicle at the time it was stolen. It has, however, not been disclosed if the items were still in the vehicle at the time it was recovered.
In a similar incident in January, a Mercedes-Benz vehicle belonging to Atlanta rapper Ludacris was stolen after he also left the engine running while he was using an ATM in the city. To mitigate these occurrences, the Atlanta Police is advising residents to always turn their car engines off anytime they exit them to attend to something – even if it’s for a split second.
“Any time you stop your vehicle and you leave your vehicle for just a split second, please turn your vehicle off and take your keys with you and secure your vehicle,” Lt. Dorian Graham said. “We’re having far too many vehicles stolen because we are leaving our vehicles running.”
This recent incident comes a day after legislation to tackle vehicle thefts at service stations in the city was tabled by an Atlanta City Council member, FOX 5 Atlanta reported. Per the proposed legislation, all service stations in the city will be required to install cameras on all fuel pumps. In addition to that, the service stations would be required to have a backup camera system.
Service stations in the city typically have CCTV cameras installed at their establishments but Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong told the news outlet that isn’t scaring the car thieves away and more needs to be done.
“It is a common occurrence. It is not an anomaly. It is a significant enough crime and a consistent enough crime that it warrants this intervention,” Archibong said.