Story by Amy Morrow
Eyewitness News Anchor

HIXSON, TN. (WRCB)-- We have a warning for women. It seems thieves are targeting the Hixson area and stealing purses from cars.

And of all places, daycares seem to the be on the list.

"It's hard being single parent, with kids and stuff, and the kids and everything to carry, that's the reason I hid it," says theft victim Monica Oliva.

Monica Oliva has a habit of hiding her purse in the floor board of her car and covering it.

But that didn't work Tuesday morning as she was dropping off her daughter at Kindercare on Gadd Road.

"She's three, she's got diapers, clothes, her jacket, her lovie. It get's hard," says Oliva.

It's hard to juggle it all says Oliva. So, she left her purse in the car.

"I came back out and my whole window was shattered. Purse was gone. They were nice enough to take my phone out and leave it in the glass," says Oliva.

And nice enough, as she calls it, to hit another mother's car whose doors were unlocked, leaving Oliva concerned.

"That somebody's lurking there, it's really weird around a daycare," says Oliva.

But investigators say that's not the case.

Daycares are a prime spot for thieves. They know they have about five minutes to do the dirty deed, but Chattanooga detectives say the thieves are hitting the Hixson area hard, targeting Walgreens and the Kangaroo.

"It's on the rise. Purses are easy targets, you even have family members stealing from parents," says Detective Charles Petty.

Oliva says she's starting from scratch, replacing her driver's license, checks, credit cards, a $600 pair of eyeglasses, not to mention a new car window.

"I was really upset yesterday, today I just want something done so others don't have to go through it," says Oliva.

She hopes a little attention and a reminder to never leave your purse behind will help someone else.

Investigators believe the suspect vehicle is a silver Dodge Ram, which fits the description of a truck Oliva says she saw the morning her purse was snatched.

They say a white man has been seen with a black man in the areas.
        
If you can help identify that truck or the suspect, please call Crime Stoppers at 698-3333.