Woman gets justice after turning to I-Team to warn others about violent smash-and-grab

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio - The FOX 8 I-Team is helping to get justice for a local woman robbed in her car while stopped at a red light.

Karen Givens turned to the I-Team to send a warning to other women. Turns out, we’re helping her do more than simply tell her story.

Givens says, as she recently drove home from work, a panhandler threw a brick into the front passenger window of her car and grabbed her purse. It happened at a busy intersection along Northfield Rd. at I-480 in Warrensville Heights.

Givens told us she heard first heard a boom. Then, she added, "And then it really dawned on me what was really happening. His arm was in my window pulling my purse out. So I started fighting for the purse, and he took both hands and just yanked the purse out of the car."

The robber got away.

Meantime, a report shows Warrensville Heights police have known about panhandlers around Northfield and 480. Investigators say panhandlers have recently stayed at a couple of nearby motels. But it seems they got kicked out of both places.

Just down the highway, an I-Team photographer noticed a couple of panhandlers. So we called Karen. Did she think one of the panhandlers we saw might be the guy to blame for her robbery? He wouldn’t talk to us when we approached. So the I-Team and Karen called Warrensville Heights Police. They scrambled to the scene. So did Karen. She said, in fact, ‘That’s the guy.' So police hauled him to jail.

As Karen watched the bust go down, she thought back to the attack at her car, and she thought about drivers like you. She said, “Wonderful, wonderful. I feel so happy that he cannot do it to somebody else.”

Late Wednesday, Warrensville Heights Police held the suspect in jail as they did some follow-up investigation. We’ll update the story with any charges that get filed.