Couple warns of parking lot smash-and-grabs

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A couple from McLoud has a warning for anyone willing to listen. They say locking your doors just isn't enough anymore.

They hope others will keep an eye out for thieves as smash-and-grabs pop up in metro parking lots.

Gayla Weldon and her fiancé, Phillip Walker, work in Oklahoma City.

They were on the west side of town for a little shopping at Garden Ridge Friday evening.

They found more than they bargained for when they returned to their car in the parking lot.

Walker said, "We came out here and saw our window busted out."

Weldon continued the story, "It kinda didn't dawn on me until I opened the door and seen all the glass all over the car and stuff like that. I've only had the car for three months. My first brand new car and this is what happens. It's very upsetting."

Walker agreed saying, "Really frustrating that somebody would come by and just destroy it, you know, that quick."

The thief or thieves took a 32-gigabyte iPod and tried for the radar detector but failed.

Weldon said, "I had $15 worth of rolled change in the center console and they didn't even touch it. They didn't touch the lottery tickets or the new items I had purchased in the back. They just grabbed what they could and ran."

OKC Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said Weldon's report isn't the only one they've had recently in the area.

Wardlow said, "The suspect or suspects come and break a window out in the vehicle, reach inside, take something of value. One case it was an iPod, the other it was a weapon, a gun that was taken from the car."

Wardlow suggests leaving valuables at home if possible.

If you need to bring them along she said, "Make sure that you secure that in your trunk, somewhere where it's out of sight. People can't see it. Obviously if they walk by your car and can see a purse or an item of value, such as a weapon or jewelry, it's going to make it much more enticing for a suspect to break out your window grab it and leave."

Since the crime happened during daylight hours, Walker and Weldon worry things could get worse.

Walker said, "If they're willing to do this during the daytime then they are willing to mug somebody, take their purse or whatever. It's a scary situation."

Weldon said, "They could be willing to jump somebody later on and maybe somebody might get hurt. I'm hoping that they won't, but you never know. I'm just hoping everyone out there knows what's going on and just to be careful."

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