Wichita Woman Loses Purse with Hundreds of Dollars Inside

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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STORY UPDATE:

After reviewing surveillance video, police say Diana Lemcke did not have her purse when she got on the bus.

Lemcke and Police reviewed the video Thursday. Lemcke says it must have fallen off her wrist before she got on the bus.

She says she is sorry for accusing the two young men in the back of the bus.

Police say they are continuing to investigate.

ORIGINAL STORY:

It's not often, Wichita's Diana Lemcke takes the bus. In fact, she rode the bus Thursday for the first time in five years. She says that's what makes what happened to her even more upsetting.

"I felt it would be the safe way to go," Lemcke said.

With the brakes on her car not working, it was her best option for transportation that day to go to Walmart and pay to have her phone turned back on.

Lemcke has been on unemployment for a year but is going back to school in three weeks.

She lives with, and takes care of, her 82-year-old mother. She had just cashed her mother's social security check across the street at Dillons to pay that phone bill and all the other bills they share.

Lemcke went and paid the rent. Then, with the other $720 in her silver, sparkly-beaded purse, she waited on E. Harry, near Edgemoor, for the bus to come rumbling through.

When it did and she got on, it was the start of a quick and bumpy ride.

That's because she says something happened after she overpaid the $1.75 fare.

She says a nice, older gentleman saw and told her there was a 25-cent change card waiting for her up front.

"I got up to go get it and I left my gloves and my purse sitting on the seat," Lemcke said. "By the time I turned my back and came back it was gone."

The $720 for all the bills, gone.

"I would have left (without the change card), it wasn't worth the quarter," Lemcke said.

She says she suspects it was the quick work of two young kids who were sitting in the back of the bus.

"I really believe they took it," Lemcke said.

But nobody fessed up. She had to get off the bus at a stop just down the street.

She says she was left with no money but she was rich with second-guesses.

"Coulda, woulda, shoulda," Lemcke said. "I could have put the money in my pocket or not carried so much at one time with me."

She's now coming to terms with what's happened. But despite the tough road ahead, she says she's not about to give up.

"Just give it to God and it will come back to us one way or the other," Lemcke said. "It'll be a tough month, but it'll be o.k."

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Police say they are investigating and have some surveillance video from the bus that they're reviewing.

If you have any information, please contact the Wichita Police Department.


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