Victim recounts terrifying mall attack

November 25, 2009 4:10:23 PM PST
A woman's shopping trip at a local mall turns into one of the most frightening moments of her life. Now she has a warning for others ahead of some very busy shopping days. What happened to "Jen" is so frightening and so fresh, she doesn't want to disclose her identity because her attacker is still out there.

She recalled, "I couldn't scream. I was so scared, nothing would come out."

She was leaving Willowbrook Mall last Monday around 7:30pm when she was targeted.

"I got into the car and my purse was on my left arm," Jen said. "I went to put it in, and I felt like it was stuck. So when I pulled, I looked down and saw his hand coming up under the car door."

Apparently the thief tracked Jen while she shopped, then hid under her car until he could rob her, dragging her from her own car. While shock left her breathless, Jen fought to get her purse back.

"I never thought of a gun," Jen said. "I just was running for my purse."

The suspects got away in what police describe as a 1985-1990 model burgundy Honda Prelude with tinted windows. Within minutes of the attack they used Jen's credit cards at McDonalds, Exxon and T-Mobile, racking up charges totaling $1,000.

Houston Police Department Officer Alvin Steelman said, "If there is surveillance video, we will definitely look at it, of course, and see if we can recognize anything that will help us solve the case."

Willowbrook Mall's general manager refused an on-camera interview, but said in a statement, "The safety and well-being of our shoppers is always our top concern. We take their safety very seriously. We have a customized public safety program, however we cannot discuss the specifics of it, because that would compromise our efforts."

While Jen is left with a wounded foot and mounting paperwork, she's grateful that's all the suspects got away with.

She said, "Luckily they didn't hurt me or, you know, kill me or anything, but they could have."


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