Michiana woman speaks out after young kids allegedly demanded money, vandalized car

NOW: Michiana woman speaks out after young kids allegedly demanded money, vandalized car

A Michiana woman was left shocked and scared after she said a group of young children stopped her in the road and demanded money, before vandalizing her car in broad daylight.

Michigan City police are looking for someone to come forward to catch the group of children responsible.

“This is a trap,” victim Tanya Rodgers said. “It doesn’t seem like something little kids would actually want to do.”

On Thursday, Rodgers said she left her sister’s house to pick up her son down the street at Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in Michigan City.

That is when she came across a group of kids in the middle of the road, near the corner of 8th and Kennedy. The children surrounded her car, banging on the windows and tried to grab her purse, according to Rodgers.

“He kept saying ‘give me a dollar, give me a dollar, take me to the store,’” Rodgers said. “And I was like ‘I don’t have any money, I don’t have any money, just get away from my car. So then they started pulling the window, the glass…tried to pull the glass out and so I just kept beeping the horn and all the neighbors came out.”

Rodgers said she tried to pull forward, until she realized a young boy, around the age of 3, was right in front of her car.

“I could barely see his head over the hood of my car,” Rodgers said. “So I just stopped because I didn’t want to hurt the kid.”

Handprints were visible surrounding Rodgers’ car, where she said children were hanging off of the roof rails and even pulled her wiper blade down.

“And when I heard the wiper blade, you know, crack, I put the car in park and I went go get out,” Rodgers said.

A young girl then snapped the blade off and threw it at her car, before the group ran off, according to Rodgers. Rodgers said she followed the children, but not for long when she realized it might be a trap.

“At that point I thought they were trying to rob me,” Rodgers said. “I thought maybe there was an adult somewhere, that they were going to like take my vehicle.”

Rodgers said she locked herself inside the car, called the cops and then her sister. Her sister followed the kids to a store around the corner, where Rodgers said an employee told the group to tell them where they lived.

“So they went to their…I think… grandma’s and the grandma said you tell these people where you live,” Rodgers explained. “My sister went there and the mom said ‘I’m going to go find my kids and then we’ll go back and talk to the police. The mom took off. Me and the police officer sat on that corner for at least an hour and a half, waiting for the mom to come back and she never came back.”

The damage to Rodgers’ brand-new car came in at $100, which she said she paid out of her own pocket. More importantly, Rodgers said she feared for her sister and everyone’s safety.

“It’s not like nobody was around,” Rodgers said. “There was people out. And these kids did it in front of anybody. They didn’t care.”

That alone made it all even more shocking, according to Rodgers.

“Because if they were going to do it in the daylight, what would they do at dark,” she said. “Just be careful, watch your surroundings, keep your doors locked, keep your windows up, even if it’s hot, keep your windows up.”

If you know anything about what happened, give Michigan City Police Department a call at 219-873-1488.

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