Akon is the latest celebrity to fall victim to car theft. The entrepreneur’s white Range Rover was stolen at a gas station in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, WXIA-TV 11Alive reported.
The news outlet stated that according to the Atlanta Police Department the incident took place a little before midnight on Monday, May 24, at the QuikTrip at the 700 block of Sidney Marcus Boulevard. Akon, whose full name is Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, was pumping gas at the time and left his vehicle running. The suspect, who has not been identified, reportedly hopped in the newer-model SUV and drove off.
With the assistance of a tracking device on his phone, the “Don’t Matter” singer was able to assist authorities in locating his car, which was initially spotted in southwest Atlanta before heading to the neighboring city of Forest Park. Officials in that jurisdiction were then able to retrieve the vehicle.
Akon is the latest celebrity to have his car stolen in Atlanta. In January, rapper Ludacris’ 2020 Mercedes-Benz S63 was taken while the “Fast and Furious” star went to an ATM near 8th and Peachtree streets. The vehicle was later found at a parking lot for the Spectrum on Spring apartment complex in Midtown Atlanta. At the time, Atlanta police Deputy Chief Michael O’Connor stressed that it was “imperative that people take their key fob with them when they leave their vehicle.”
The statement echoed that of Lt. Dorian Graham in the case of Akon, who stated, “Anytime 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. It only takes a second for someone to jump in your vehicle and take off.” He added, “We’re having far too many vehicles stolen because we are leaving our vehicles running.”
WAGA-TV FOX5 Atlanta reported that an Atlanta City Council member recently proposed legislation requiring all Atlanta service stations to mount cameras onto their fuel pumps. The bill also would require a backup camera system to be made readily available. Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong noted that although most establishments have camera systems already in place, it isn’t deterring criminals, calling it a “common occurrence.” She added, “It is not an anomaly. It is a significant enough crime and a consistent enough crime that it warrants this intervention.”
This issue seemingly hit home for Archibong, whose daughter was recently held at gunpoint during a failed carjacking. “He had a weapon, and he was standing inches away from her, threatening to take her car,” she explained. “She was shocked and didn’t understand what was happening, and she kept talking to the person. She effectively wore that person down.”
Archibong believes that the crime rate would slowly start to decrease with the added security during business hours. “It will also serve as a protection for people who are at their most vulnerable. They’re outside of their car. They are using a credit card or have cash in their hands,” she said.