Puyallup car prowlers target church volunteer

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Jacki Oakes learned a tough lesson when she parked behind the Lighthouse Christian Center in Puyallup where she volunteers: never leave your purse in the car, even for a few minutes.

Oakes was only inside for a few minutes getting ready for church the next day but when she came out, she found her car window smashed and her purse stolen.

She cancelled her bank card right away but wasn’t fast enough. Her pin number was written down in her purse.

“By 10:20, they had already made over 800 dollars in transactions on my card,” Oakes said.

Puyallup Police were able to obtain surveillance images of the suspects using her card at a nearby gas station. They are asking for the public’s help in identifying them. They were driving a 1995-1998 green over gray Ford Explorer.

The main suspect is a heavy-set woman with long wavy black hair. She was wearing a blue hoodie with a green graphic, black tights, and sandals.

Another woman was with her. She has a pear-shaped body and reddish hair. She was wearing a red blouse and blue jeans.

There was a man with them wearing dark clothing, but he wasn’t seen clearly on camera.

“For these people to do this and target people at churches to commit credit card fraud, I’m assuming they do this all the time. They’re looking for other victims. They need to be stopped. They need to be held accountable for this crime and I want them bad," said Det. Mike Lusk with Puyallup Police.

Oakes says her bank returned her money but it took several weeks plus she had to get her car window fixed.

“They caused me a whole lot of grief, and it’s sad for them to risk prison over money, and I hope they get what’s coming to them so they can learn their lesson,” she said.

Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 if you can identify the suspects in this case.

If you have any information, call an anonymous tip into:

You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.

CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers.