NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - “I was kind of like in a very good mood, not paying much attention. I was feeling secure and not looking out for anybody, because during Jazz Fest you get that feeling of general happiness in this city,” says Marina Hayman.
Hayman's mood, though, would soon change after returning to her Garden District home Sunday evening.
“At some point, I came back to the house. I noticed the side door open," Hayman said. "The front door was open. My husband was talking on the phone. He said he was airing out the house. I put my backpack on the table right by the side door, which was open."
Hayman says she simply went inside and continued to meander around the house. A short time later, she started to look for her cell phone, but couldn't find it.
“All of a sudden, I went outside and noticed the car wasn't there,” she said.
As it turned out, a burglar walked into her home, opened her purse, stole her wallet, cell phone and keys and then took off in the family car.
She says her husband had taken the surveillance cameras down from around the house for repairs just hours earlier. Now, without video, she wondered if they'd ever figure out who was responsible.
Less than 24 hours later, there was a break in the case.
“I get a call from my husband that the police had my car. I was very surprised that the police had my car,” Hayman said.
The NOPD discovered her stolen vehicle at the Valero gas station at Claiborne and MLK. According to witnesses, a young man pulled into the station, filled the stolen car with gas and then walked inside. The NOPD noticed the stolen vehicle and pulled in behind it.
The driver of the car fled on foot. Now, police say they're searching for a juvenile suspect.
“They were joy riding," Hayman said. "They had the seat belt locked so you don't have to put them on. They had CDs in the car. They were eating candy bars in the car. These were kids."
Hayman got her car and cell phone back, but says the whole experience was a big inconvenience.
“The things is, it's not that it happened. It's not that I couldn't recover it. It basically takes over your life, and really makes you kind of sick,” Hayman said.
The homeowner says the surveillance cameras are back up and working, and she say they'll never leave a door open again.
If you know anything that might help police, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.