Florida woman evacuating from Irma gets car full of valuables stolen in Chicago

Evacuees stand in line to enter the Germain Arena, which is being used as a fallout shelter, in advance of Hurricane Irma, in Estero, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2000. With the window closing fast for anyone wanting to escape, Irma hurtled toward Florida with 125 mph winds Saturday on a projected track that could take it away from Miami and instead give the Tampa area its first direct hit from a major hurricane in nearly a century. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

CHICAGO (WFLA) – Evie Lafferty was one of the millions of people who fled the wrath of Irma last week.

The St. Pete woman packed up all of her valuables and headed straight to Oak Park, Illinois with her granddaughters in tow.

“Everything I could [bring]. Birth certificates, social security cards,” she told NBC Chicago. “My granddaughter wanted to take all her birthday stuff because she just had a birthday party.”

Safe, sound and out of Irma’s path, Lafferty thought she could breathe a sigh of a relief, but the trip to Chicago turned into her worst nightmare. Everything she had managed to save during the evacuation was stolen.

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“I mean I can’t believe this–what else is going to happen?” she said.

Car thieves drove off with Lafferty’s 2015 Dodge Journey. NBC Chicago said her car was unlocked and she left her spare key inside.

“When you think you’re in a safe neighborhood… you’re not,” she said.

Police are investigating numerous reports of similar car thefts in the area and are asking residents to lock their vehicles, secure valuables and remove garage door openers from parked cars, NBC 5 reports.

“Personal stuff, baby pictures, the first baby tooth that she lost was in that stuff,” she recalled. “Anything like that that was in there–that’s all that I want back.”

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