THE CRIME: Car-jacking/robbery
THE VICTIM: Judy Ouellet
DATE: Thursday, Dec. 2
TIME: About 9:30 a.m.
PLACE: Chevron station at McCommas and Greenville
STOLEN: 1987 BMW, Purse, $40 in cash
Judy Ouellet admits the blanket over the guy’s head should have been her first clue that something bad was about to go down.
But she has stopped at the Chevron on Greenville for a Coke nearly every morning for as long as she can remember, so she wasn’t sensing any danger as she swung her car door open.
Next thing she knew, the blanket-headed man at the pay phone was rushing toward her, yanked her clear of her car and jumped in and, as she says, “took off like a bat out of hell,” with her purse in the backseat.
“Normally I can take care of myself. I’m pretty strong actually, and I don’t let people bully me,” says Ouellet, who has lived in her home off Greenville for 11 years. “But I had this feeling … the blood kind of drained out my body when I saw him. It was really frightening.”
She escaped from the encounter physically unharmed. And although her car was found about a week later, badly damaged and reeking of “beer and cigarettes,” her ordeal is far from over. She has had to cancel all of her credit cards and bank accounts for fear of identity theft (the police officer investigating her case told her that’s one of the most common crimes in Dallas right now), and she’s renting a car until she can repair or replace her BMW.
“The things you have to go through because of a five-minute situation,” she laments.
But it’s the feeling that her neighborhood might not be as safe as she imagined that really has her down.
“It seems to be kind of a growing thing that we’ve got more homeless people in the area,” says Ouellet, who adds that she and her neighbors have noticed more transients roaming farther north on Greenville. “I don’t know if it’s because of the holidays, but crime is just really out of hand right now.”
Still, she seems certain we’re not in for any longterm spikes in the crime rate.
“I love this neighborhood,” she says, “and it’s always been a really safe neighborhood. I’d hate to see that change.”
The man who stole her car hasn’t been arrested. So Ouellet wants others in the neighborhood to be on alert, just as she will be.
“I know I’m going to be much more careful about locking my doors and watching my surroundings. You’ve just got to go around now with your eyes wide open and be alert.”
And, she says: “If you see a man in blanket, just keep going.”
A few days before Ouellet’s carjacking, a woman living east of Abrams was walking home from the store when an assailant approached her, grabbed her purse and then pushed her to the ground and punched her when the purse strap got hung up on her arm. The Dallas Police Department offers these tips …
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