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Man who received free mask breaks into the donor's car, steals purse

Posted at 10:32 PM, Apr 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 07:24:44-04

AVONDALE, AZ — A man covers his face with a free mask, only to break into the car of the person who sewed that mask.

Business has been slow for Tess Alterations, Tuxedo Rental and Dry Cleaning, 75 to 85 percent according to its owner.

In order to stay busy, and provide work and hours for employees, owner Teresita Mulleneaux started sewing free masks to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

"I see on the tv that they need masks," said Mulleneaux, who originally started producing a couple dozen masks a week, until her daughter posted about the masks on social media.

After that, requests started coming in for more. "A lot of people called. ‘I need 50. I need 20. I need 15."

Due to the high number of people requesting masks, Mulleneaux decided to give the first mask for free, and ask for donations for any additional masks.

This past week, a man came into the store asking for a mask, and Mulleneaux gave him a free one. The man then proceeded to put the mask on, grab a nearby rock, and break the windshield of a car parked in the parking lot.

He then stole a purse that was sitting in the passenger seat. That car belonged to Mulleneaux, who was in the back of her shop working at the time.

"He came in. I said 'How can I help you?' He said, 'I need mask.' I thought he worked at the barbershop," said Mulleneaux. "He put it on to break my car."

Mulleneaux said there was about $300 in small bills for the store, as well as keys to the store and her home.

She knows it's the same person because her security camera not only caught the interaction she had with the thief, but also shows the man wearing the mask she made, holding her purse, running away from her car.

"When I saw my car broken into I was upset, but when I saw the guy who I give a mask and he use it for that I felt violated," said Mulleneaux. "I mean, I'm trying to help people and then this."