Rash of car break-ins at Grossmont Center

Posted at 6:46 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 21:46:26-04

More and more shoppers and diners at Grossmont Center are coming out to their cars only to find crooks have broken in.

Workers at a local Olive Garden were the latest targets on Mother's Day.

"They shattered this front window here and then all the glass was all in my front seat," said Carly Richie.

Richie had just gotten off work at Olive Garden when she found her driver's side car window smashed out.

"I knew the minute I saw the blanket where I hid my purse was up and the purse was up, I just started bailing, I got hysterical," she said.

Richie says she's not the only one. Two of her coworkers also had their cars broken into the same night. Catherine Ball was one of them.

"So, the purse was right there on the ground and the Adidas were on the back seat," said Ball.

The thieves stole close to $300 in tips and ATM cards. Within 30 minutes of the break-in, Ball says someone used her credit card at a Shell Gas Station.

"Everything I own was in my purse," said Ball. "Everything to pay my bills. I had to shut down my cards. I have no identification."

Ball says there have been 10 break-ins just in the past week. A crime mapping website shows only four reported thefts since May 1, 2016. 10News found shattered glass not far from Olive Garden.

The thieves have yet to be caught even with security patrolling the shopping center and surveillance cameras plastered all over the parking lot.

"People don't seem to care. They still go after different areas of Grossmont Center," said Richie. "They seem to know where the cameras are and where they aren't."