Man accused in spree of purse thefts from SUVs at Audubon, other parks

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Michael A. Short (

An alleged purse thief who specifically preyed on SUVs in the parking lots of major parks has been charged in a spree of auto burglaries near Audubon Park, police said Wednesday.

An investigation into auto break-ins around City Park led detectives to search the home of 24-year-old Michael A. Short, where they found credit cards and drivers’ licenses that could eventually link him to 30 or 40 burglaries, said Sgt. Warren Keller of the NOPD Second District property-crimes division. Among the stolen cards were a debit card stolen July 11 and a credit card stole Aug. 2, both from cars parked right by Audubon Park, Keller said, and detectives are following up on three more cards also believed to be linked to Audubon Park auto break-ins.

Short was using a small tool that “pops” a window out by shattering it with a single tap, said Lt. Chuck Little of the NOPD Second District day shift. Witnesses described him hanging around the parking lot, waiting for women to leave SUVs — which are particularly vulnerable because they have no trunk to lock valuables in, Little said.

“He knows the women have purses,” Little said. “He can get in there, steal the purse and use the credit card before they finish their run.”

Short is currently charged with three counts of simple burglary. Nearly a dozen vehicles were reported broken into around the park during July and early August, according to city records.

2 thoughts on “Man accused in spree of purse thefts from SUVs at Audubon, other parks

  1. I was among the victims on July 11th at City park while walking my dogs so am wondering why the police haven’t called me yet? Anyway what a jerk, hope he gets a really big nasty roomate in jail. Would love to have a chance to have him meet my large Bull Mastiff who was with me at the park that day. She would have torn him up if she had seen him in my car.

  2. Thank God it wasn’t a black man this time. I get so tired of that little Audubon Park security cart riding up behind me and pretending that they aren’t following me. I’m sick of it! Why can’t I just exercise in peace! I’m a 30 year old black man that just wants to take care of himself. Guys like this makes it hard for guys like me to just enjoy one of the things I love to do most. It is not fair! I’m really frustrated and tired of all bullshit stereotypes that’s cooked up by black and white people in this city! Here is a white kid that chose a career in theft. I hope someone read this and realize that people are people. Having said that, there are honest, decent people and there are thieves. “It really doesn’t matter if you’re black or white!” Or does it?

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