WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE – A West University Place family said their son’s birthday gift was stolen when a thief followed them from a bank Wednesday and burglarized their SUV.
It happened around 2:30 p.m. after Krystle Peddle left a bank off Belaire Boulevard and Wesleyan with a cash envelope in hand.
“I had the envelope, I thought, close to my hand where no one could see it,” Krystle said.” I came back to the car and I thought, ‘ok my daughter wanted to get balloons at the next stop.’ And so, I thought, ‘should I put this money on me with three children or should I leave it in my car.’”
Krystle said she felt like she was being followed as she drove to a store, which was a five-minute distance from the bank. She said she decided to leave the envelope inside the vehicle to avoid possibly being robbed in person with her children. She said when she left the store and returned to her vehicle, the driver’s window was smashed, and the money was gone. Inside of the envelope was $300 she and her husband were planning to gift to their son for his birthday.
“Today’s actually our son’s 12th birthday and we went in to get cash because I got him a little money gun and some one-dollar bills for him,” Krystle said.
In all, the Peddle’s said the incident cost them $1,000, including the $300 stolen and the cost to have their SUV window replaced. As a result, their son only received $5 for his birthday.
“We just want to make sure this doesn’t affect his outlook,” Paul Peddle said. “We want to make sure he has a great day regardless of what happened yesterday. That he always remembers this.”
Paul said he was at work when he got the call from his wife. He said the thief also stole his family’s sense of security.
“It’s just unfortunate. I knew she (Krystle) was shaken up all last night,” the father added. “It scared our children because my 9-year-old asked me when I got home from work last night, ‘dad, is anybody else gonna follow us?’”
West University Place police said to try avoiding being a victim of jugging by not leaving money in your car, concealing bank envelopes, being vigilant, watching for people loitering around you, watching for cars tailgating you, and calling the police or going to a nearby station if you suspect you’re being followed.