Caught on Camera: Thief Steals Purse and Cash

No matter how many times you tell people not to leave valuables in their cars they still do it.

Now, some have learned an expensive lesson after their cars were broken into at a Southeast Fresno parking lot.

The theft was caught on camera.

Surveillance video shows the man, dressed in dark clothing, casing a parking lot around five in the afternoon.

He threw a rock through a window, reached in and grabbed a purse, then took off on a bicycle.

Paula Garcia had gone to a pharmacy, across from Roosevelt High School.

She thought she had left her purse at work.

"I seen a bunch of people walking in the parking lot," she says. "We were about to leave. There was glass everywhere... in front of my car. They said, 'Is this your car? Someone stole the stuff out of it.'"

The thief took Garcia's silver Coach purse.

It had been a graduation giftwith sentimental value far beyond the price tag.

"I had 700 cash in there, all my bank cards, credit cards, all my son's information, social security, everything," Garcia says.

She had all that money on hand because she was planning to pay bills.

She was about to enroll her son in Pre-school.

"I work a lot of hours to keep my bills in line. This set me back a lot," she says.

Workers at the pharmacy say another car was also broken into Tuesday morning.

That man also got away on a bicycle.

Workers say there were similar break-ins last year.

In one case, 17 windows were broken overnight.

A person was arrested, and later released because of jail overcrowding.

Garcia says she will keep a closer eye on her belongings after learning an expensive lesson.

"Pay attention to what you leave in the back seat. Take your purse with you."{}she says.

She figures the thief really wanted the cash, and is pleading for the thief to return her purse and documents, no questions asked.