Woman Speaks Out About Park Smash And Grab - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/10/07

Woman Speaks Out About Park Smash And Grab

*The victim in this story has asked to not be identified, fearing retaliation from the thieves.

The two hundred dollars to fix a broken window is nothing compared to what thieves ran up on a Tyler mom's credit card.

"We're up to $1,600 right now," says the mother.

Last Saturday, she and her family were about to leave a Tyler skate park when they noticed the window of her SUV was smashed and her purse was gone.

It all happened within eye and earshot of the mother and her children. While they were busy skating in the parking lot, the thieves were busy in the parking lot just a few hundred yards away.

"We never heard a thing."

She just bought the brand new SUV, complete with an alarm system she thought would help protect her belongings, but it never went off.

"He said it won't unless they get in on the inside and try to open the door to get out."

When she tried canceling one of her credit cards over the weekend, she learned something else.

"I tried hour after hour and finally got a guy on the line that explained to me, some banks do not employ an after hours hotline for lost or stolen cards."

Because of that, the thieves were able to ring up 34 charges on Sunday at local gas stations. She suspects, the thieves were buying gas for friends, but that's not what she's worried about.

"They've got my whole identity; address, social security card, credit card.  The more friends I told, the more stories they had that were similar, and the police man even said, 'This happens all over town. It's unusally high."

Officer Doyle Lynch with the Tyler Police Department says this is a reminder for everyone.

"You never know when someone is watching for that opportune moment, so you need to protect yourself at all times. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep your purse with you and lock your car," says Lynch.

It's advice this woman says she will follow from now on.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

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