VANCOUVER, Wash. — Even on a gloomy Friday there was a crowd kicking off the weekend at the Vancouver Waterfront. There is one woman who is avoiding the area though. She's still shaken by what happened there last week.
"It's been a never-ending fiasco in talking with police departments," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.
The woman told authorities she was sitting outside at a restaurant when a car pulled up. A young man jumped out and approached her table.
"[He] said 'excuse me ma'am' and reached over and grabbed my purse. And as he was attempting to flee with it I got a hand on it, and he got the better of me and jumped in that same car I saw before and they took off," she said.
The woman said the thief wasted no time going to Fred Meyer and racking up about $2,000 in charges on her credit card. A day or two later, she said, somebody came to her house and stole her car. She believes there's a good chance it was the purse snatcher himself,
"It shook me to the core," she said. "I had work and had to call. It's been a nightmare talking to credit bureaus and closing down accounts, insurance and DMV."
Unfortunately, she is not the only one dealing with this kind of nightmare. Several other women have had bags stolen over the last couple of weeks in Vancouver.
Authorities say one woman was sitting on a park bench at the waterfront. Others were in big parking lots. Most, if not all of the cases appear to be connected and have the attention of detectives.
"It's very violent to have someone take something off your person in such a way and obviously a lot of personal information gets stolen at the same time," said Kim Kapp of the Vancouver Police Department. "Not just credit cards but your driver's license, potentially some security information. There could be a pay stub in there. There could be all kinds of things."
The woman who spoke to KGW knows that all too well. She says her car has been recovered with other purses and backpacks inside. Now she is hoping investigators can track down the crew behind the thefts.
"I want them caught but I also want them to realize what they're doing," the woman said. "Whether they have any remorse or not that's beyond me. It's between them and God."
Authorities are asking women in the Vancouver area to be extra careful and vigilant.
Anyone with information about these purse snatchings is urged to contact the Vancouver Police Department.