GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Two days before Christmas, Angela Updegrove was at the Wendover Place Shopping Center in Greensboro finishing up some last-minute shopping.
She parked her car near Dick's Sporting Goods.
“I had my purse in my hand. My keys in another hand. Went to unlock my car door,” she said.
She says within a matter of seconds, two men approached her from behind and grabbed her purse and ran away.
“Next thing you know I saw them getting in a red car. It happened so quickly I had no time to respond,” she said.
“I was definitely in shock. I could not believe actually that this happened. I couldn't believe that this happened in such an open place. shoppers everywhere,” Updegrove said.
Inside her purse was credit and debit cards, her driver's license, several hundred dollars in cash and something very close to her heart.
“My mother had passed in August and a bracelet she had had, and I had worn but it was kind of big, but I had it in my purse. So, that's something that's irreplaceable,” she said.
“[This is the] first year without my mom and I knew Christmas wasn't going to be great and honestly if I could have skipped I would but I have a great family because mom would have wanted it,” Updegrove said as she teared up.
While she hopes she's able to get that bracelet, she says this whole ordeal was learning lesson not only for her but for others.
“Don't be like me and be preoccupied and not thinking. Look, pay attention to your surroundings before you get in your car, if you feel like something... just kind of look around.” she said.
Police tell FOX8 that it's always a good idea to put items in your pockets or attached to your belt.
If you have a purse make sure to always have a good grip on it.