An elderly and disabled woman in the city of Alice got quite a scary surprise on Christmas Eve. She was taken for an unexpected ride, and it was not on Santa's sleigh.
Police believe it was a couple of illegal immigrants that took 67-year old Ricarda Lopez on that ride. It started before 11 a.m. on Dec. 24 at the Texas Star convenience store on the 1600 block of East Main Street.
Lopez was waiting in a red four-door Nissan as her 46-year old daughter had gone into the store. The daughter had left the car running with the keys in the ignition. It was at that time when two men, seen in surveillance video images, got in the car and took off.
At some point they noticed that there was a woman in the car, so they dropped her off at Christus Spohn Hospital in Alice. Hospital surveillance video there captured the Nissan on camera as they made the drop off.
"We're thinking that there was a couple of illegals that were just loitering in the area, either waiting for a ride or wanting to ask for a ride, or waiting for an opportunity," said Lt. Antonio Aguilar of the Alice Police Department. "They saw the opportunity to take this vehicle, and they got in it and left with the elderly inside the vehicle."
Police do not know where the two men drove the four-door Nissan after that. The Texas license plate on the vehicle is BBX2700. Police are hoping someone pulls the vehicle over and that the suspects are still in it.
In a strange twist of fate, as if Lopez had not gone through enough already, just about a day later during the early morning hours of Dec. 26, there was a fire at her home. Police say it is not related to the car theft, and that the cause of the fire was an accident. Nonetheless, the fire did cause significant damage.
The only good news is that Lopez was not injured in either incident.