Woman loses nearly $10,000 in 3 hours after purse stolen - WNEM TV 5

Woman loses nearly $10,000 in less than 3 hours after purse stolen

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The victim had parked her SUV at a trailhead at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. (Source: CBS 5 News) The victim had parked her SUV at a trailhead at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A Phoenix woman says she's out nearly $10,000 after her purse was snatched through a smashed window on her SUV.

The woman, who doesn't want to be identified, decided to head to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and go for a hike on Sunday.

"I just cruised up the trailhead, and it's sort of miles of mountain preserve," she said.

The woman parked in the lot near 32nd Street and Lincoln Drive, hid her personal belongings and locked her SUV. Her purse was underneath the rear middle seat of her vehicle. When she returned about three hours later, that perfect day turned into quite the hassle.

"I basically got back to my car, and there was glass everywhere and my whole body was shocked," she said.

"There was a note from the park ranger, (which read) 'Here' s the police (department's) number. Call them,'" she continued.

Her purse was gone. So were her two business debit cards as well as her personal debit card. In less than three hours, the victim said whoever stole her purse racked up $9,000 in charges, including withdrawing at least $1,000 from area ATMs.

"I can't imagine it's one person. I think it's a team of people," she said

The woman believes someone knew exactly where to find her purse by watching her from a distance.

"I believe it's an organized thing, because it's just too much (money stolen) so quickly and so professionally done," she explained.

Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos said the department is looking into the case.

"(It) is somewhat unusual from the standpoint of how did these individuals get a pin number to withdraw that type of cash? How did they get the cash?" he said.

The victim said her banks have refunded her most of the money. She said after this theft, she only plans to hike with her personal belongings from now on.

"I would definitely recommend all hikers have some fanny pack or some type of backpack and bring all your valuable information," she said.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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