Shawnee police need help identifying suspect in nursing home smash and grab

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SHAWNEE, Okla. - Shawnee Police need your help solving a brazen smash and grab in a nursing home parking lot.

They say many people continue to leave valuables in cars for the taking. They later end up learning their lesson the hard way.

On an unlucky Friday the 13th, one family found out even nursing homes aren’t off limits to criminals.

While visiting a relative at a The Sterling House, Ted Gillispie's family left their purses and other valuables in the car thinking they would only be inside for 30 minutes.

"We run in, visit with her mom for a little bit,” says Gillispie. “We come out and the back window on the driver’s side of my brother in laws car is smashed out and the two purses are gone."

Inside those purses were multiple credit cards.

Detective Jason Crouch wants to talk with the woman in the surveillance images. In them, she's shown buying thousands of dollars worth of gift cards and clothes at Dillards.

"Within the hour she was using them," says Crouch.

Crouch thinks she's taking the Gillispie's credit cards on a shopping spree. That alleged spree may have stopped at JC Penny's thanks to a clerk on alert.

"Luckily they did what we ask everyone to do, they asked for identification,” says Crouch. “She said she didn't have it, that it was out in the car. She snatched the card out of the clerks hand and ran out and never came back."

Gillispie says this is the last place his family expected to learn this lesson.

"It's just brazen that someone would do that at a nursing home of all places,” says Gillispie. "You just can't be too careful."

He says if you can't feel safe at a nursing home, then where can you?

"Takes a lot of nerve,” says Gillispie. “It makes you feel very vulnerable. These things only happen in other places to other people but it can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone.”

Investigators are hoping someone will recognize the woman in the surveillance images. If you have any information that might lead them to her give them a call at 878-1630 or 273-2121.

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