CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- In a busy Chesterfield park, right under the noses of unsuspecting victims, criminals worked fast smashing windows, grabbing purses, cash and other valuables.
Now, as police try to track them down, victims are trying to piece their lives back together.
Jaqueena Hines is among them. She is still trying to grasp how quickly criminals bashed in her window, stole her purse that was hidden under her seat and poured bleach inside the car she just purchased two weeks ago.
While the criminals worked, Hines and her two daughters sat in some nearby football bleachers, cheering on her nephew who was playing in a game at R. Garland Dodd Park at Point of Rocks.
“I think it’s sad. People have no morals and no consideration for anything. They’re just trying to get what they want then and there,” Hines said, frustrated.
The Chester mom said it was daylight when the game started, but dark when she and her daughters returned to her car. That’s when she noticed some lights in the parking lot were blown out. She suspects that gave the thieves the cover they needed to hit her car and four others.
Since Saturday, Hines has had to visit DMV and has been on the phone constantly with her insurance company and the bank and her credit card companies. She said the incident has been devastating for her children and has shattered her sense of security.
“They have my house keys with my alarm fob so we had to re-key the whole house. We had to call a locksmith. We had to call ADT to disconnect our security fobs. It has been a hassle because of the money spent and the unnecessary time spent,” said Hines. “My kids were afraid to sleep in their own beds. They said they don’t even want the car back, even if it’s fixable. It’s because they will have that bad memory.”
She said another thing that blew her away was a call from a bank representative in Augusta, Georgia.
Hines said the rep explained to her that a woman came through the Wells Fargo drive thru and tried to pose as Hines, using her ID, trying to cash a check for $999. The woman also had Hines’ Wells Fargo bank card. The teller was suspicious because Hines’ account had already been flagged and the woman was trying to use an ID with a Chester, Virginia address. When the teller called her manager, the woman in the drive thru sped off in a black van.
Hines said she was grateful to get all of those details from the Wells Fargo bank rep who called her. She’s now hoping Chesterfield police will get surveillance pictures and video from that Georgia bank.
She also hopes the criminals are caught before anyone else becomes a victim.
"People need to be aware that these criminals are here. They’re around. They’re watching, so just be aware,” Hines warned.
For her, she said it’s a lesson learned. She will never leave her purse in her car again. She will also be more vigilant of her surroundings.
After speaking with Hines, CBS 6 Problem Solvers reached out to Chesterfield County because it maintains R. Garland Dodd Park at Point of Rocks.
CBS 6 asked if there were plans to address the lights in the park that were blown out the day Hines’ car and others were broken into. A county spokesperson said Parks and Recreation crews would assess the situation and make any necessary repairs soon, so all the lights will be in working order.
Police say they are investigating whether or not the car break-ins at the park are related to similar crimes that happened at Harry Daniel Park that same day.
If you have any information that can help police, you are urged to call Crime Solvers at 748-0660.