Sailor's wife's purse stolen from SUV at zoo


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Robert Wagnon, a sailor from Kings Bay, was enjoying a day with family at the Jacksonville Zoo on Thursday.

When they were set to leave, he discovered his SUV window was smashed in, his wife's purse gone.

"Saw zoo security standing next to my vehicle, walked up. That's when I saw my window was bashed out," Wagnon said. "Our livelihoods have been violated. Now we have to worry about identity theft."

Wagnon said he thought he was doing everything right. His wife placed her purse on the floorboard of the passenger side and moved the seat all the way forward, but even that wasn't enough.

"No matter if you have your doors locked, your windows up, if he sees a purse, he's going to take it," Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said of thieves. "It's a crime of opportunity. You've just made an opportunity for him to shatter your glass, grab your purse and go."

The zoo has roaming security personnel all over the park, including the parking lot.

Executive Director Tony Vecchio said security cameras are also a feature within the park, and more may be added.

"It's part of our long-term plan to put more cameras in the zoo, because this hadn't been a problem, it hasn't been a high priority, but certainly we'll talk about it now," Vecchio said.

Just days away from Christmas, Wagnon is now worried about how he'll repair the family SUV. He said whoever broke in didn't have to.

"I'll give you the shirt off my back if you ask," Wagnon said. "If I can do it, i'll help you. Don't steal from me."