Thieves charge $5,000 after smash and grab theft at Dorothea Dix dog park

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh woman is spreading the word about the smash and grab theft of her purse from her locked car at Dorothea Dix Park and urging other parkgoers to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of a similar crime.

Alyson Huling tells ABC11 that the back window of her car was smashed while she was at the popular dog park at Dix.

In a report filed with the Raleigh Police Department, Huling says the crime happened on Dec. 10 between 3:30-4:30 p.m.

The thieves got away with her purse, four credit cards, a debit card and a small amount of cash.

Huling says the thieves charged $5,000 on her credit cards before she canceled them.

"Lesson learned. I should obviously keep my purse somewhere else, but we come out and see people all the time. I'm assuming it wasn't someone from the dog park because I feel very close to a bunch of these people," Huling told ABC11. "It felt like someone was in my personal space and then I had to get in my car and somebody had been there five minutes prior and it was a little freaky."

Huling says she will return to the dog park with her German Shepherd, Burton, but she will not leave behind her purse in the car.

The Raleigh Police Department offers these tips:

  • Always lock your vehicle's doors and remove valuables or at least keep them out of sight
  • Never leave your vehicle unattended while it is unlocked
  • If you have a garage, use it and lock the door
  • Never leave your car keys in plain view or in an easily accessible area
  • If you must leave valuable objects or packages in your vehicle, lock them in the trunk
  • Never leave your keys in the vehicle
  • Park in well-lit areas when possible
  • Avoid parking near large vehicles and bushes as they provide cover for thieves
  • Call 911 if you see somebody looking into windows, pulling door handles or checking for alarms by bumping windows or bumpers
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