Jeep stolen from church parking lot while woman was praying

Elioisa Elizondo TMs Jeep became a target for thieves as she attended an evening church service in San Juan last Sunday.

I had my vehicle parked there, it was right there and I thought maybe I moved it, Elizondo said. But no, it wasn TMt there anymore.

Although the church walls are thin and many people were outside at the time, no one saw who took it, or how they did it.

There were other vehicles that were newer and unlocked and my vehicle was locked! she said. They just happened to take my vehicle.

San Juan Police Sergeant Rolando Garcia said thieves are looking for an easy target.

He recommends placing a club on the steering wheel when any vehicle is parked.

One of the reasons vehicles are passed over is if they (thieves) see the club mounted on the steering wheel, Garcia said.

The club makes stealing a vehicle more difficult.

Elizondo didn TMt have a club when her Jeep Liberty was stolen.

Now she is stuck with more than $2,000 to pay on a car note, on a vehicle she can TMt even drive.

Right now investigators are working to locate her stolen Jeep.

As soon as a vehicle is reported to us, the first thing we do is check to see if it was crossed into Mexico, if so that TMs the angle of our investigation, Garcia said.

San Juan police checked video surveillance at U.S. - Mexico crossings and discovered Elizondo TMs Jeep was crossed minutes after it was reported stolen.

Many stolen vehicles wind up in the hands of smugglers who use them to smuggle illegal drugs and undocumented immigrants.

Unfortunately for Elizondo, she didn TMt protect her Jeep, she simply locked her doors.

I hope they find my vehicle, that they leave it stranded somewhere, she said.

Moving forward, Elizondo said she plans to take extra precautions to avoid falling prey to car thieves.