Mary Sauceda will never forget the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach after making an awful discovery last Friday.
"I opened and saw glass all over here," she said while looking inside her car with a broken window.
A thief had struck.
Her purse was stolen.
So was the $5,000 inside it.
Mary claims the cash was from a recently cashed income tax refund check.
"They left me penniless," she said.
Mary fears her daughter's medical treatment is now at risk with no money left to pay for medicine or gas money for doctor visits that are outside of the Rio Grande Valley.
"I have asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and I had a kidney transplant," Claudia Sauceda, Mary's daughter said.
Medical complications with another relative prevented Mary from immediately depositing the refund, according to her.
I had to be in the hospital while brain surgery took place.
Then she had her grandson TMs school picnic.
She thought the money would be safe behind her vehicle TMs dark tinted windows.
The purse was tucked under the passenger seat while she carried picnic food to Sullivan Elementary School from where she parked on Avon Street in San Benito.
"I couldn't carry everything but you didn't think at that second that somebody had such malice," she explained.
Police believe Mary fell victim to a smash-and-grab burglar who may have spotted her purse.
But they also can't rule out whether somebody may have known Mary was travelling with a lot of money and waited for the perfect moment to strike.
They have a criminal investigation open.
Anyone with information is urged to call the San Benito Police Department at (956) 361-3880.
Mary realizes she TMs made mistakes and doesn TMt count on the money being returned.
But she does hope the important documents in the purse will be.
"Please return it," she said in a plea for help. "My daughter TMs medical history with papers, insurance information and IDs are in there."