CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – In the past, WAVE 3 has warned holiday shoppers to keep their purchases and valuables out of sight in their cars. Now we want to warn that some are stealing cars while shoppers are inside of Kentuckiana malls.
Cindy Curry is one of those victims and says she feels "violated." Curry and her four-year-old granddaughter spent the Sunday before Thanksgiving shopping at Green Tree Mall in Clarksville. Everything was fine until they tried to leave.
"It's like I know that's where I parked, you know, and I turned around and looked and then it hit me ... my car's been stolen," said Curry.
Sometime in the three hours they had been inside, someone made off with her car, a white 2004 Ford Explorer. Police later told her someone kicked in the back window. Curry had wireless entry and had locked her keys inside.
"What hit me was what if whoever took my car is also still sitting somewhere waiting for a female to come out dazed and confused and you get attacked?" said Curry.
A Clarksville police officer took the report. Curry asked mall security if there were cameras to try and catch who did it.
"Her answer was I really don't know if we have security cameras, and the Clarksville cop said, I can tell you they don't," Curry told WAVE 3.
A Green Tree Mall spokesperson had no comment on the security at the mall.
Curry said the officer told her there was another car stolen nearby the day before, however, the Clarksville Police Chief has not returned our call to confirm how many have been stolen.
Across the river, police tell us there are none to report at Mall St. Matthews or Oxmoor Mall so far this holiday season, but further south at Jefferson Mall there has been one taken and another attempted theft.
"Always be aware of your surroundings," said Dwight Mitchell, a Louisville Metro Police spokesperson. "Always be aware of locking your cars and if you do have valuable items inside certainly place them in the trunk."
Curry says she lost thousands of dollars of valuables inside the Explorer, and she's not sure if she'll shop at Green Tree again. For now, she's doing her holiday shopping online.
"it's a safety thing," said Curry. "Did they break into my car because they saw I had a lot of stuff in it? Who knows."
Police recovered her Explorer eight days later. It was found in Louisville on 38th Street. Almost everything inside was gone, including a GPS, car seat, and CDs. It has dents and paints down the side.
Curry said she agreed to an interview to try and prevent others from going through what she did and to encourage malls to increase security.