TULALIP — Marcela Gaspar learned a difficult lesson on April 19.
“So I go outside to check on my car and it’s not there,” Gaspar said.
She works at the Premium Outlets Mall and left her purse in her car in the parking garage. When she returned, her car and her purse were gone.
“It’s weird because I didn’t think it would actually happen to me and it did. That’s just horrible. How could someone stoop so low to that point that they, like, do that? It seems like it’s more of a profession to go out and steal people’s stuff and just be on the hunt,” Gaspar said.
Within minutes, police say, a woman, wearing a black cap and long black ponytails, was caught on in-store surveillance in Walmart trying to use Gaspar’s credit card.
For some reason, the card was declined and the woman walked out of the store and drove off in Gaspar’s car.
“It just really surprised me when I found out it was a female because it just didn’t occur to me that a female could actually do that. I always thought, oh, it’s always going to be the males looking out for a car,” Gaspar said.
Now police are trying to identify the woman and they’re asking for the public’s help.
Police say this type of crime happens more than one might think, especially on busy weekends.
“We get people coming up from Seattle, people coming down from Canada. People from all over visiting this place and the people who are thieves, our car thieves, our vehicle prowlers, the people doing this type of stuff, they know it’s a very high traffic area,” Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Glenn DeWitt said.
Full of criminal opportunity.
Police urge people to leave nothing of value inside their car, especially not out in the open where it can be seen.
Gaspar got her car back but not her sense of security.
“They didn’t hurt me or anything but in a sense they kind of did, because now I’m always a little more cautious of where I’m at and everything and not physically hurt but maybe just mentally and emotionally a little hurt,” Gaspar said.
Anyone who can identify the woman should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.