Off the Hook – It could have been worse!

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 She said, “It was so fast” … the robbery, that is. Peggy Wilson (Marysville class of ‘64) and her friend went to Easton Town Center for a cooking class last Saturday. It was to be a day of cookie making at Sur La Table. They ended up taking five cookies home. Peggy said, “They are good, but a lot of work to make.” But in the end, she had to pay a high price for those cookies.
 Just after the class, they decided to purchase a few cooking utensils from the store and were taking the packages to the car. They were parked in the lot very close by, a place they had actually parked many times before. It was warm weather and a large Saturday crowd.
 One very important fact is Peggy’s friend drove that day. At the car, her friend was standing close to it putting things in and Peggy was standing back from it, just having placed her articles in the car. Suddenly a vehicle traveling at a high speed approached them and stopped, and a very gutsy man got out, knocked Peggy down on the ground and took her purse.
 Now this is the kind of thing you see on the news and you hear about, but I had never known anyone who was the victim. She said she hit hard on the concrete and has a big bruise now, but fortunately nothing was broken. That would’ve been catastrophic.
 However, another catastrophe of a different kind occurred. Many important items involving Peggy’s life were in her stolen purse – her cell phone (which does not have a lock on it and no password involved), checkbook, wallet with credit cards and a little money and her car keys. She had her keys with her even though not driving. This is where it became very important that her friend was the driver and had nothing stolen. The ladies could’ve been waiting another hour or so for a family member to come and drive them from Easton back to Marysville, if it had been Peggy’s car.
 The two women were first so stunned, but then quickly Peggy’s friend called 911 for help. In a short time, a Franklin County deputy arrived. The mall security person came later. They had been dealing with an accident in the area. The women tried to describe the car. They knew the color and the size and her friend got some license plate numbers. Other witnesses corroborated those. About 45 minutes later they were done and decided to go sit down somewhere.
 The adrenaline had been rushing in both of them because they were so anxious to catch the thief. They found out later the car was stolen and the apprehension probably wasn’t going to happen. When the gals reached a restaurant, they sat down and looked at each other … oh my gosh, what happened to us today? Then the exhaustion took over.
 After a phone call, Peggy’s husband, Bruce, began cancelling credit cards and the first moves to stop payment on the checking account. In fact, they cancelled the account and opened a new one. They also had to replace her car keys and realized the lock on her car needed to be changed because the thief (or thieves) knows where she lives through all the ID in her purse. Doing all that will cost about $1,000. Theft is not cheap for the victim, that’s for sure.
 Later they would learn that the credit cards had been used to buy gas … really? Peggy’s cell phone was quickly disabled by her son, who works for Apple in New York. Peggy also said, “If you don’t have a relative in the business and you have an Apple phone, quickly notify Appleicare 800-275-2273 and they’ll take care of you.” Peggy will never get her phone back because Apple will not share the location of the phone with the police. This decision has been tested in court recently.
 She’s concerned that the thieves know where she lives, but Marysville might be the safest place around. The Franklin County deputy told her to leave her lights on outside and Marysville police also suggested that she leave lights on inside at night.
 In Peggy’s purse were some phone numbers jotted down on a piece of paper. It was in case she didn’t have her phone with her, because who can remember cell numbers now. Listed were numbers for her son, daughter and mother. Just a few days ago all of them received harassing telephone calls in the middle of the night. Guess who must have done that? Also on that piece of paper was the code to open her garage door. They’ll be changing that, also.
 So, Peggy has learned a lot in such a tough way. Her future shopping experiences outside of town will involve something like a fanny pack, which will just have very little in it. And I’ll bet there will be a lock and a password on her next iPhone. She’s also hoping this can be educational for all of us.
 It was a huge inconvenience and she could have been hurt much more severely, but now she is thankful that everything will be fixed. It will just take a while.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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