Elderly Stow women’s cars smashed, purses stolen during pickleball game

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 10:33 PM EDT
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STOW, Ohio (WOIO) - Stow police are searching for a pair of thieves who smashed up every car in the parking lot of Adell Durbin Park on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s just so disrespectful especially you know five elderly women playing pickleball in the park they didn’t deserve it they’re just there to have a nice afternoon together and you come back out and everything’s just upside down,” said Mitchell Pivarski, the grandson of one of the theft victims.

Pivarski took a video that shows all the purses dumped and abandoned in the woods behind Tip Top Restaurant on Darrow Road.

He said his grandma quickly remembered she had an AirTag in her purse, a small device that tracks the location of whatever it’s attached to in real-time.

“It’s a small beeping sound and it’s a very small device about the size of a quarter so when you’re sitting in a car and all of the sudden, you’re already up to criminal activity and you hear a ding ding you know you’re probably already paranoid enough to the point where you’re like time to ditch everything,” Pivarski said.

19 News obtained surveillance video from Tip Top Restaurant. The suspects were driving a gray GMC crossover.

“They reversed into the parking lot all the way back to the dumpster and that’s where you see one person get out passenger side and start to rummage through stuff and throwing certain stuff in the dumpster and then the other passenger gets out and they go behind the dumpster and start throwing stuff and then they get in their car,” explained Pivarski. “They drive around the building, and they see a lady exiting another vehicle. She gets inside, they jump out again try to open the door handles without success get in their car, and end up taking off north towards Hudson.”

Pivarski and the restaurant’s owner found all the stolen belongings dumped in the woods.

“Just thrown into the rain into the ravine like they weren’t expecting anyone to find it,” he said.

The thieves did get away with some cash. Pivarski said police told him they believe the duo hit a country club in North Canton before hitting the park.

“Same situation windows smashed out and then I think they said something about the same marching vehicle as the one that was described here,” he said.

The Stow man said he was just grateful his grandmother and her friends weren’t hurt.

“If they would’ve heard the windows breaking or something and gone up there to investigate what if one of them was armed, has a gun or something you know they get violent trying to get away or hit someone with a car, you never know,” Pivarski said.

If you recognize the men or know anything about this crime, contact Stow police.