Police warning others after thieves target moms at Lee’s Summit park, stealing credit cards


LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Summer break is here for many families. In Lee’s Summit, police are asking parents to be cautious while at the park.

In the last month, three people now say wallets were stolen out of their cars at Lowenstein Park.

Police say the easiest way to stop thefts is to always keep your car locked, and your eyes open.

Bethany Shipley was one of the victims. She says she hopes sharing her story is a good reminder to be careful of your surroundings.

“People need to be aware,” Shipley said.

She’s a mom of four kids, so a trip to the park is a big event. Over the weekend she visited Lowenstein Park with her kids.

“I just wanted to get out of the house. And it was the first day that wasn’t raining so hard. And so that new park is amazing,” Shipley said.

When she got there, Shipley says a woman approached her and was being very friendly. She wanted to talk to her about her children, her life, her own kids, and more.

“We were just swapping stories. But I felt it was odd how just immediately interested she was in my life,” Shipley said.

She said eventually the woman got a phone call and abruptly left which she also thought was odd. Thirty minutes later her husband called.

“Hey, did you just spend a few thousand dollars at Walmart? I said, No, I thought, and he said, Okay, well, I need you to check,” Shipley said.

Her credit cards were gone out of her car and the thieves racked up more than $4,000 dollars in charges at a close by Wal-Mart.

Sergeant Chris Depue with the Lee’s Summit Police Department says thieves will target parking lots where people feel safe.

“It takes seconds,” Depue said. “They seem to be going back towards Raytown, they follow that 50 Highway corridor which is where the park is near. They’ve pulled surveillance videos in the same suspect and at least two or three two of the three cases.”

The credit card companies forgave the charges on Shipley’s card because she filed a police report. She says she’s glad the only thing they took was money.

“What’s not replaceable is your children. And what I realized after the process or after the situation is I was like I just realized, it could have been something more valuable that they that they were after,” Shipley said.

Depue said they are close to releasing photos of the suspects, and hope to identify them. One of the biggest things you can do he says is only take what you absolutely need when you head to the park.

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