JOHNSON CO., Ind. (WISH) - Johnson County officials say they are investigating a string of smash and grabs that occurred Wednesday morning.
Sheriff Doug Cox says two were from church parking lots and another theft was from a vehicle parked in a garage. Cox says he is unsure if the purse stolen from a vehicle was related to the church thefts.
According to a report, police were dispatched to Summerfield Crossing Wednesday morning for a theft report. A woman told police someone took her purse from the passenger seat of her van sometime late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
She said the van was parked in a garage and was unlocked but says the garage was closed.
Police say the woman’s Visa card was used at a Marathon gas station in Marion County around 4:38 a.m. Wednesday.
“It’s very scary to think about,” she told 24-Hour News 8.
Officers were also called to the 5300 block of West Fairview Road, New Hope Christian Church Wednesday morning on a report of a vehicle broken into. A woman told police her minivan’s driver’s side window was smashed and her purse was missing.
The victim told police she saw a red/maroon Honda Pilot enter the parking lot around 9 a.m. and leave at a high rate of speed a few minutes later. Another witness at the church said she saw the same van pull away.
Investigators say they’re working to determine if that vehicle is related to the crimes. It was caught on surveillance video, as well.
Police received a third call to the 400 block of North Bluff Road, Mt. Pleasant Community Life Center. A woman told police she was in the fitness center Wednesday morning and came out to her car. She said she noticed her passenger’s side window was smashed and her purse was gone.
The victim’s purse was found later Wednesday on Southport Road and the White River bridge. The victim told police her checks were torn out of her checkbook.
“You feel you’re at a church, things are safe, and they know that’s probably your mindset. Unfortunately they’ve found a way to take advantage of that,” said Matt Goodpaster, the Community Life Center Director at Mount Pleasant Church.
Goodpaster says they’ve had this happen a few times this year outside the fitness center.
He says they’re working to get out the word to members on social media, to leave their valuables at home, or bring them inside to lock them up, especially while working out.
If you have any information on any of these crimes, you’re asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, at (317) 346-4615.
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