Phoenix Police are reminding adults who drop off children at Ahwatukee preschools to make sure they lock their vehicles — no matter how short a time they might be in the facility.
The warning came after two incidents occurred at different preschools along Chandler Boulevard Aug. 13 only 20 minutes apart.
A woman who was dropping off her toddler at Family of Christ Preschool at 3500 E. Chandler Blvd. at 7:50 a.m. said her purse was robbed when a black SUV or Suburban pulled alongside her vehicle in the parking lot.
Although she thought she had locked the car, a man got out of the black vehicle, opened the driver’s side and stole her purse.
Twenty minutes earlier, a vehicle matching the description of the black one at Family of Christ pulled up to a parked car by Primrose Preschool at 3900 E. Chandler Blvd. and the same thing happened.
The woman in the first incident said the theft has cost her more than $800 because the purse contained her house keys and ID, so she had to change her locks.
“They found my iPad because whoever took it realized they couldn’t get into it because it’s password protected so they just threw it out,” said the victim of the first theft, who asked that her name be withheld from publication.
“I was inside only a few minutes,” she said, adding that her older son was in her car in the back seat and had been hiding when he saw the man trying one door, then going to the other side because it was locked.
“He started screaming and I guess the guy got scared off,” she said.
She added that she usually locks her vehicle and that in her haste to drop off her toddler and get on with her day, she didn’t check to make sure the driver’s side door was locked.
She said the incident “was very traumatic” for the older boy, who is 8.
No one was injured in either incident.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Margaret Cox said no arrests have been made and that the cases are under investigation.
“We would advise people to lock their vehicle and keep valuables out of sight at all times,” Cox added.