HAUPPAUGE - Authorities are warning motorists about a disturbing criminal trend across the country - gas station sliders who prey on people while they are at the pump.

Police say the crime occurs when a customer is pumping gas and a thief sneaks inside the person's car to steals wallets, phones, handbags or other valuables. Many victims do not even realize they have been robbed, according to officials.

Police say customers getting gas should lock their doors when they exit their car and hide valuables.

Gas station sliders were first reported in Texas and Florida.