Skip to main content

Robbers and everyday criminals can be pretty dumb. Never mind the senselessness of committing a theft in the first place, perpetrators often make headlines because of really terrible choices that lead to their apprehension. And celebrities are just as susceptible to be victims of theft as the rest of us.

Queen Latifah’s car was stolen once, from a gas station right before Christmas. And in true stupid-criminal form, some strange items left behind. All this had the authorities shaking their heads in disbelief.

Queen Latifah accepting an award at the GLAAD Awards
Queen Latifah accepting a GLAAD Award | JB Lacroix/WireImage

Queen Latifah has always been destined to share her gifts

An eight-year-old Dana Owens from Newark, NJ, was given a nickname by a Muslim cousin. Latifah, meaning “delicate and sensitive” in Arabic, has since become an iconic name in music and Hollywood.

Queen Latifah embraced her gift of rap and rhyme early on in her upbringing, which groomed her for greatness as an adult. As a musician, she had board-topping hits and hip-hop albums, including All Hail to the Queen and the Grammy Award-winning single, “U.N.I.T.Y.”

Queen Latifah didn’t stop there. She ventured into acting acclaim, earning an Oscar nomination for her performance in Chicago and an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Bessie Smith, in Bessie. Her success is evident in her charitable works, among her celebrity peer circles, and in her wealth of approximately $60 million.

The gas station caper that left Queen Latifah without her Benz

It was about 9:20 p.m. at a Shell station in December of 2016. Keith Sheppard, Queen Latifah’s associate and bodyguard, was standing at the pump and preparing to put gas in the rapper’s 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63.

It was then; a BMW pulled up to the driver’s side of Latifah’s car, and someone got out and quickly jumped behind the wheel of the six-figure Mercedes. Before Sheppard knew it, both cars were gone.

It’s unclear if he had left the key in the car, or if the thief was able to push-button start the car with Sheppard holding the fob. But as many carjacking victims will say, it all happened so fast and suddenly.

It’s not the first time Queen Latifah had a car stolen

Authorities at the time were concerned about a rash of carjacking and vehicle theft in the area. The South Fulton gas stations were in the news more than once, including another instance of theft at the pump.

A retired Superior Court Judge was another recent victim and reported a man in a red hoodie who climbed in the judge’s 2016 Infiniti Q60 and drove away. Queen Latifah wasn’t present when her Mercedes was stolen, but it’s not the first time she’s been impacted by car theft.

In 1995, thieves stole her BMW 740i, and fired a gun at her then-boyfriend, near the Apollo Theater in New York.

The car is recovered, with a few odd and minor extras


‘Dance Moms’: Why JoJo Siwa Doesn’t Feel It’s Time to “Age up” Yet

TMZ reported at the time that Queen Latifah wasn’t as concerned about the car, as she was about the important contract paperwork left in the trunk. When police later recovered the vehicle at an apartment complex, Latifah was relieved to find her essential documents still intact.

The only damage to the car was to its rear rim. While the thieves had clearly gone through the contents of the sedan, nothing was taken at all. In fact, the robbers left a few things behind. Authorities found fruit punch and lemonade bottles piled in the seat.

Fans were relieved to learn their beloved Queen Latifah wasn’t present when her Mercedes was stolen. But it shows thieves aren’t terribly intelligent, considering they dared to steal the star’s car, for no apparent reason, and went ahead and left their juice bottles behind too.