Sick thief ‘steals from dying woman as she lay paralysed at crash site’

A thief climbed into the car of a dying woman as she lay paralysed after a crash, helping themselves to her handbag and bank cards, police say.

The crook is then said to have gone on a spending spree, leaving the victim’s widow with huge bills at a time of immense grief.

Cops in San Diego are urgently trying to locate the thief, who stole 64-year-old Terri Nelson’s bag before she died.

Police believe the criminal climbed into her car as she lay with a broken neck after a truck hit the vehicle from behind.

Her heartbroken husband Don told ABC10: “She was the nicest, most wonderful person I’ve ever known.”



Terri Nelson died as a result of her injuries after the San Diego crash


Police say a woman was seen using the victim’s credit cards

On top of all the tragedy he has suffered, he is now fending off legal letters from his wife’s credit companies demanding payment following the sick thief’s spending spree.

Mr Nelson says his wife of 27 years was on her way to pick up her father for a hospital trip in August when a truck rear-ended her car at a stoplight in Riverside.

The station said as she lay with her neck broken, amid the commotion of bystanders and first responders coming to her aid, police say someone got into her car and stole her handbag and purse.



The victim’s husband Don has been left to deal with credit card bills after the callous theft

Detectives say within days of the accident, surveillance images show her using Terri’s credit cards and writing cheques in her name.

Mr Nelson says as some $5,000 worth of purchases were made at various businesses, from fast food restaurants and Albertsons to Costco.

“I think that’s the lowest form of life that could possibly be. You have to be a sorry person to do something like that,” Mr Nelson told the channel.

For three months, Terri was paralysed and on a ventilator, until she passed away last week from complications from the accident.



Police believe the handbag was stolen as Mrs Nelson was paralysed after the crash

During that crime spree, police believe the woman rented a Nissan Rogue in Terri’s name, before the California Highway Patrol pulled that car over on a highway in San Diego County.

The two men inside the car have yet to lead detectives to the woman, but police hope tips from the public will.

“I just can’t believe a lightning bolt didn’t strike the person. I hope they never run into me, and I know who they are,” Mr Nelson said.

The widow believes the rented car was pulled over near downtown San Diego, but the CHP has not confirmed that.

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