Car stolen from Battlefield Mall parking lot found in Cuba, Mo.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Thieves have been targeting parking lots in Springfield. Three cars have been stolen from the Battlefield Mall parking lot in the last three weeks.

The crime map shows one happened on May 23, another on June 10, and the most recent was on June 12.

Kassandra Nusbaumer came shopping at the mall on Sunday with her mom and younger sister.

They parked the car by the Dillards entrance around 1:00 that afternoon. Her mom’s car was gone when they came out of the mall around 4:15.

“We couldn’t find it to save the life of us, so we were going every which way,” Nusbaumer says. “At some point, we decided to call mall security because we thought we were crazy for a second. Whenever you go into the parking lot, you can’t find your car. That feeling was going on for like 20-30 minutes. “

After driving up and down the aisles of the parking lots with mall security, the car was still nowhere to be found.

That’s when Nusbaumer and her family started to get worried and called the Springfield Police Department to report the car stolen.

“My mother was looking through her purse, and she couldn’t find her keys anywhere,” Nusbaumer says. “She’s a very big stickler about her keys.”

The following day, Nusbaumer’s mom reported the car stolen to Toyota.

Toyota tracked her car to Cuba, Missouri, where the police department there was able to locate it.

“My mother had this car for maybe like two weeks,” Nusbaumer says. “Not even a full month. I think that feature is kind of an invasion of privacy a little bit, but I mean, with the verification of a case number with a stolen vehicle, I think it can really save a lot of people some stress. “

Cris Swaters with the Springfield Police Department says parking lots are places of opportunity for thieves.

“There’s a lot of cars in a small area where they can go around and start testing doors and just wandering around, testing doors to see who has left their car unlocked, looking through windows and seeing what’s in there they might want to take,” Swaters says.

Despite the heat, Swaters says don’t leave your keys in your car to keep the air conditioning running.

Always take your keys with you and lock your doors.

“It takes five seconds to steal a car,” Swaters says. “That’s all it takes if you’ve left your car unlocked and the keys in the ignition. All someone has to do is climb in and take it. “

Nusbaumer is urging people that if they see something, say something.

“I know a lot of people like to look down at their toes and mind their own business, but I mean, if you see someone being really sketchy around a car, I would really go and get mall security,” Nusbaumer says. “There’s always someone riding a segway in there. You could always grab them. Worst case scenario, they got locked out of their car, but best case scenario, you’ve prevented someone from stealing a car and someone having the same stress my mom went through. “

She should receive the car within the next few days after insurance assesses the damage the repairs.

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