78-year-old woman has car full of presents stolen while shopping in Brier Creek

16December 2021

— A woman was robbed Wednesday in the middle of the day while shopping at a popular store in Brier Creek.

The 78-year-old, who did not want to appear on camera, had her car and Christmas gifts stolen.

She told WRAL News she’s a shopper who stays alert.

She did everything right, she parked her car, she locked her doors and went shopping inside Home Goods.

The unthinkable happened as she walked down one of the aisles and a man suddenly approached her.

“He came from behind me and rammed his hand roughly down my jeans and grabbed my keys and stole my car, and he took out running through the front door,” said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous.

The man knew where she parked. He knew the exact make and model of her car and where she placed her car keys. She believes he watched her get out of her car and put her keys in her pocket.

“If you listeners take one thing away from this, be careful of what you do with your car keys in public,” she said. “Do not let people see where your car keys are,” she warned.

Her Toyota Camry has not been returned, nor were the presents in the trunk.

Despite her losses, she wanted to warn shoppers to be alert this Christmas season.

TJ Maxx, which owns Home Goods, released this statement:

“The safety our customers is very important to us. We are aware of the incident in our Brier Creek location, and are cooperating with the Raleigh police department. As this is a matter of law enforcement, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

In the first eight days of November, Raleigh police recorded 21 reports of armed robberies. That is the highest total for the first eight days of any month in five years, according to WRAL Data Trackers.

Police: 21 armed robberies reported in Raleigh in 8 days

So-called “smash and grab” robberies are also occurring in the state and across the country, where multiple robbers target businesses in broad daylight by quickly entering stores and grabbing items before anyone can take action.

High-end stores selling expensive products are one of the largest targets. In early December, thousands of dollars worth of wallets and handbags were stolen from a Cary boutique.

In Los Angeles this month, authorities announced more than a dozen arrests in recent smash-and-grab thefts at stores where nearly $340,000 worth of merchandise was stolen. Fourteen people were arrested in connection with 11 brazen robberies between Nov. 18 and 28.

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