A local woman is warning residents a criminal is on the loose after breaking into her and her friend's car in Whitestown and stealing their purses in broad daylight.

Andrea Florentino contacted Townsquare Media regarding the concerning incident. According to Florentino, she and a friend hiked along the Rayhill Memorial Recreational Trail alongside Route 840.

When they returned to their vehicles, they found the windows smashed and broken glass littering around and inside the cars. They soon realized their purses had been stolen. Both vehicles were ransacked, meaning the thief took their time to ensure they could grab everything of value.

Aramyan from Getty Images
Aramyan from Getty Images

Now Florentino and her friends are going through the headache of cancelling credit cards, getting new licenses, and everything else that has to be done when one loses their wallet.

Florentino hopes that by raising awareness about what happened to her, others can protect themselves from the same fate.

Check out photos of the damage to both cars.

Photos of Brazen Smash and Grab at Popular Hiking Trail in Central New York

Andrea Florentino was devastated to see her and her friend's car broken into while they walked a popular trail in Whitestown. She is hoping to raise awareness so that no one else has to endure what she and her friend are going through.

Gallery Credit: Megan

Florentino will join WIBX's Bill Keeler and Andrew Derminio for a broader discussion about the incident on Thursday, June 27. You can tune in on 950AM, 92.3FM, or by Keeler's live stream on YouTube.

Smash and grab robberies are nothing new in the area, but it is alarming that this incident happened in broad daylight in a relatively populated area. The parking lot is right by an ultra-busy street, meaning the suspect truly didn't care if they got caught.

Read More: Popular CNY Business Forced to Close "Effective Immediately"

Police say criminals will rarely pass up an easy score and will smash into a car in the daytime and on crowded streets. They have even targeted official vehicles for the postal service.

Authorities say a thief can be in and out of a car within a minute because they know where people normally stash their valuable items like cell phones and wallets.

Here's how you can help avoid becoming a victim.

  • Always lock your car and take the key fob with you
  • Remove all valuables and personal belongings
    1. If hiking like Florentino, police say keep your valuables out of plain sight and make the car look uninviting
    2. Police recommend storing your valuables before arriving at your destination to avoid having the wrong person see what you're doing
  • Park your vehicle in well-lit and populated areas, as criminals are more likely to target cars left in secluded and darker locations
  • If you see something, say something. If there's a suspicious person hanging around the area, contact your local police department

It's sad we live in a time where we have to take extra precautions to prevent ourselves from becoming a victim instead of deterring criminals from breaking the law.

Do you think crimes of this nature will become more common? Let us know by chatting us via the station app below.

WIBX 950 logo
Get our free mobile app

New York's 5 Most Common Crimes

If you ever wondered what type of crime is most common in New York State, personal injury law firm Gruber Law Offices found out exactly that.

Using the latest statistics from the United States Bureau of Justice, they identified the 5 crimes that are reported most in the state.

Gallery Credit: Megan

10 Amazon Products Under Recall or Safety Alerts in New York

Amazon has a new feature that alerts customers of all recalls and safety alerts affecting products in their store. Here's 10 items that have recently been included in this list.

Gallery Credit: Amazon

New York's Top 5 Most Sought after Jobs in 2024

According to a new study by Class Central, New Yorkers are craving jobs that pay well and make them a little more indispensable.

Gallery Credit: Megan

More From WIBX 950