BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A woman dropping her toddler off at an area pre-school returned to her car to find a side window smashed out and her purse missing.
The Monday theft — in the gated parking lot of Get Ready Set Grow Academy on Powerline Road — is all too common this time of year, according to police, and should serve as a warning to parents.
Police and area school officials say that thieves covertly access school grounds during often chaotic pick-up and drop-off times, then wait for a mom to take her child inside to make a move. Despite warnings from administrators and common sense, parents often leave purses, iPads, and other valuable items in plain sight — making a smash and grab simple.
Even schools with security are often unable to prevent these attacks.
In the theft at Get Ready Set Grow, the thief made off with a purse full of credit cards and a drivers license. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says the thief used the information from the drivers license to use the stolen credit card to buy gas minutes later on Glades Road.
A surveillance camera at the pre-school isolated the getaway car. Police are continuing their investigation.
Boca Raton Police Spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg says despite the hectic morning rush, it's important to think about what's in your car before you take your child in to school.
“Be aware of your surroundings and suspicious people,” said Boonenberg. “Never leave your car running when it's unattended.”