Going proactive: Single mom turns detective to track thieves

Going proactive: Single mom turns detective to track thieves »Play Video
Michelle Hardy points to damage to her car and the window thieves broke to steal her purse, credit cards and this month's rent.

PORTLAND, Ore. – They broke her car window, stole her purse, maxed out her credit cards and even took $500 in cash for this month’s rent, but a single mom is doing her own detective work to track down the criminals.

After just one day since the thieves stole everything, including her Social Security card, Michelle Hardy, discovered some video that might catch the thieves red-handed.

Hardy's car was parked was parked at Tryon Creek State Park when the thieves struck. Afterward, the single mom with two full-time jobs – taking care of her child and as a seamstress, canceled her cards, filed a police report and started digging by getting details from credit card companies on every address and time of purchase.

She was able to track a couple credit card transactions to a Shell gas station in Southwest Portland and to Maddy's, a deli, in Southeast Portland. After a little more detective work, she discovered there could be video of the thieves using her stolen cards.

"I decided to get proactive about it because these kinds of things are not OK," Hardy said.

She said she even spoke to employees who were working when the thieves came in. She hasn't had a chance to look at the video, but it could be the break in the case this mom turned detective needs.

"I just want to try to get some sort of justice for all that we've lost," she said.

Managers at both the Shell gas station and Maddy's deli said they're working on getting that video to investigators but said they couldn't show it to a reporter quite yet because it would be against company policy.