TUKWILA, Wash. - Many recently purchased gifts were stolen from a woman’s vehicle as she continued to shop during the morning of Black Friday.
Tanya Williams and a friend spent hours shopping for presents before heading to Southcenter Mall early Friday. Before going to the mall, the two had spent $1,700 in items that were loaded up in her SUV.
Williams told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Debois that the thieves broke into her vehicle when she was inside the mall buying more presents.
“They took basically everything,” said Williams. “My friend’s laptop, they took the flat screen TV, they took the telescope, they took all the towels and the bedding.”
When Williams and her friend got out of the vehicle, they were approached by a young man.
“He was like, ‘You guys did a lot of shopping,’” Williams said.
Williams brushed him off, locked her doors and walked away with her friend towards the mall. The two women watched to make sure the man and his friend drove away in their car, which they did.
“And I was like, ‘Oh, good. They’re gone,’” said Williams.
After shopping for four hours, Williams returned to her SUV, and found her lock jammed.
“So, when I looked up, it [the lock] was already up and when I opened the door, that’s how I knew they had gotten in,” Williams said.
Only a couple of gifts were left in her SUV. The items Williams purchased were not only Christmas presents, but birthday presents for Williams’ daughter, who turns 5 on Sunday.
“I mean, how could you do that, for my daughter’s birthday? And I don’t have anything now,” said Williams.
Williams said mall security was all over i the parking lot overnight.
“How could you guys not see this big truck and somebody got all the doors open and they’re taking stuff out?” Williams said.
Officials at Southcenter Mall told KIRO 7 that they will work with the Tukwila Police Department about the incident.
The police department took a report and asked for surveillance video from the mall to see if the robbery was caught on camera. They are currently investigating the incident.
Williams is a bus driver for King County Metro and she saved up about $1,300 to buy gifts for her five kids this Christmas.