Theft victim: Grinches burglarized car in work parking lot

Betty Mitchell says her car was burglarized in her work parking lot at the Gateway Mall.
Betty Mitchell says her car was burglarized in her work parking lot at the Gateway Mall.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The holiday season is a time for giving, but some must think it's a time for taking.

One woman can attest to that after she was victimized by a thief who burglarized her car in her work parking lot, a place she thought was safe.

"You really feel bad, you feel like you've been violated, you know, because all your personal stuff is out there," said Betty Mitchell.

Mitchell parked her car in her work parking lot at the Gateway Mall on the Northside. It's the same place she always parks, but it didn't matter.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said people should never assume their valuables are safe.

"You never should have a false sense of security, even if you're at work, even if you're at church," Jefferson said. "You should never have a false sense of security to think thieves will steal from you in certain places."

Mitchell left a computer bag full of valuables in her car.  A witness saw two boys steal from the back door of her car and run.

Items stolen from Mitchell's car include $2,500 cash, a wallet, a Dell computer briefcase, Mitchell's driver's license, Social Security card, debt and credit cards, check book, and her grandson's baseball bat.

"Christmas money and all that, now I can't even buy my grandkids and kids Christmas presents because I don't have the money and I still have to pay the loan back even though the money is gone," Mitchell said.

Jefferson said theft is more popular this time of year because more people carry cash around the holidays.

"This time of year, thieves are looking for people who are vulnerable, people who pull out large amounts of cash, people who leave items in their cars visible where they can break in and steal it," he said.

Jefferson said never have large amounts of cash in your wallet, never keep anything that looks valuable in plain sight in your car, and always lock your doors.

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