What was supposed to be a typical massage appointment for Peggy Wooley in the Citiplace Shopping Center in Baton Rouge, changed dramatically when a stranger yanked open her door.
The man entered Wooley’s car and snatched her purse before hopping in a white Audi SUV and driving off leaving Wooley sitting in her car with only her phone in her hand.
“The police considered it a purse snatching,” Wooley said of the event that occurred on June 29, 2022, around 12:50 p.m. “I went to the Chase Bank by Towne Center and was getting cash out of the ATM. I was supposed to get a massage at 1 p.m. When I was driving on Corporate (Boulevard), I noticed a white vehicle behind me but I didn’t think much of it.”
Wooley said when she stopped at the traffic light just before Citiplace, she noticed the White SUV behind her. She pulled into a parking spot and as she was responding to a text message with her car in park, she was robbed.
“That guy jerked open my door and he was like 12 inches away from my face,” Wooley said. “I never saw him in my rearview mirror when I was driving. He had a black paper mask on and a hoodie so all I saw was his forehead and his eyes. He jumped in the car, he had his knee on my seat and he snatched my purse.”
Wooley said a witness in the parking lot got into her own vehicle and followed the thief down Corporate to Jefferson Highway but was unable to gather the license plate number for the SUV.
“The police didn’t come for two hours,” she said. “There was no gun used or anything. Everybody was really nice. The lucky thing was he didn’t have a gun. He took money, credit cards, and things like that. It was inconvenient for me but he could’ve had a gun.”
Wooley’s husband brought her the spare key to her vehicle since her keys were in the purse when it was taken. She had her car keys reprogrammed to where the stolen keys wouldn’t work on the vehicle anymore just in case the man came back to steal her car.
She said the situation made her look at things in a new light.
“Everybody kind of drops their guard and thinks nothing’s going to happen and something happens,” she said.
There were no cameras outside the building overlooking the parking lot. Wooley said police are still investigating the theft.
“I learned to be more vigilant about the habits I have,” Wooley said. “Now, I’ve been thinking about a lot of things. I’m just very thankful. I learned that there are a lot of angels out there stepping up. They’re a lot of good people out there.”