Car stolen twice in 1 day; victim says police dropped the ball

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ATLANTA —

A metro Atlanta woman says police mishandled the situation when her car was stolen twice in the same day.

Tanita Williams told Channel 2’s Eric Philips her Jeep Cherokee was first stolen Monday morning while she was picking up her son from his father in southwest Atlanta. She said she started her car to warm it up and went inside to get her son. When she came back out, the car was gone.

Williams said she called the Atlanta Police Department to report the theft. About an hour later, Fulton County police discovered the SUV in its jurisdiction parked behind an abandoned group home on Bakers Ferry Road.

An Atlanta police officer took Williams to her car, but she still did not have the keys and her insurance company said it would take hours for a tow truck to get there.

“They indicated that they could not wait that long, so they just kind of left,” Williams said.

Atlanta police officials told Philips the officer left Williams his personal cellphone number so she could contact him.

“Worst case scenario, if they came back on the scene and they were armed, am I really supposed to pick up the phone and dial the officer’s number? What am I supposed to do?” Williams said.

That’s when, Williams said, her car was stolen again.

“It’s about 4 o’clock, and lo and behold, we see my car driving down the hill past us. The thieves have come back and they’ve taken my car, yet again,” Williams said.

Williams called 911 to report the second theft and a Fulton County police officer responded, but did not stay long.

“And she’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m not supposed to answer this call, you need to call APD back,’” Williams said.

More than two hours later, Williams got another Fulton County officer to respond and take her second report.

“We thoroughly do believe that this was a miscommunication between our initial responding officer and Mrs. Williams,” Kay Lester of the Fulton County Police Department said.

“No, I think she was just ready to pull off because she wasn’t listening to what I was saying,” Williams said.

Williams’ car was found for a second time in a nearby park. She is now working on getting it keyed.