A woman whose car was stolen last weekend acknowledges she left her keys in her purse in the car, making it easy for the thief to take the vehicle.
The victim, who spoke with News 13 off camera, said she came home late from church and doing charity work for children and left fabric over her purse in the back seat.
That was apparently just the kind of scenario the thief was looking for.
Claire Edwards, who also lives in Haw Creek in East Asheville, had no idea her neighbor’s car was stolen.
“I’m very shocked,” Edwards said. “We live in a great neighborhood. I live right across the street, so it’s very frightening. There are all kinds of elderly and young people here.”
The victim’s car, a 2018 Subaru worth $20,000, was totaled while the suspect fled police. News 13 found it at a tow lot in downtown Asheville.
Lamar Jackson, who’s worked for Blair Towing for years, said he sees cases like this all the time.
“From what I understand, she left her keys in the car,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he spoke to the victim, who came down looking to get any personal items that might have been left in the car.
Jackson said he often sees cars that have been stolen and wrecked because owners leave them running while they run into a store or gas station or simply leave the keys in the car, thinking nothing will happen.
“If you get out of your car, take your key fob with you,” Jackson said. “And lock your doors because they just jump in your car and drive off.”
The suspect in the Haw Creek theft case is listed as John Doe. Asheville police say the suspect has refused to give his name to police, but he’s being held on five felony counts related to the car theft and police chase.