For many of us, having our cars stolen sounds like a nightmare. But for a teenage girl with diabetes, a stolen car is only the beginning of the nightmare. Her insulin pump was also inside the car when it was stolen, and now her life is at risk every day she goes without it.
19-year-old Tylynn Cross had left her insulin in her purse inside her car on the night it was stolen from the Home Depot parking lot in Lawrence, Kansas.
Tylynn was diagnosed with type one diabetes less than a year ago. She’s found the disease difficult to manage and had lots of trouble with highs and lows in her blood sugar before she was finally able to get her hands on the right technologies to monitor and correct it. Her insulin pump will not be easy to replace, as it is a $17,000 device.
Since the robbery, Tylynn and her family have been working with law enforcement to get her belongings back. However, Tylynn and her mother believe law enforcement is not doing enough to help, and they’ve mostly been doing their own detective work.
The first thing the family noticed was that Tylynn’s debit card was used on three separate transactions at the Fat Shack in Topeka. They were able to get a video from the owner of the establishment showing the person they believe stole the car. The footage shows a woman who appears to have some of Tylynn’s belongings in her possession.
“She was wearing my jacket that I had given Tylynn,” says Casey Cross, Tylynn’s mother. “She was holding Tylynn’s keys with her long key chain. You could clearly see that she was holding Tylynn’s purse and had her debit card in her hand.”
Casey contacted Lawrence police with the information. However, because the transactions had taken place in Topeka, not Lawrence, and they referred her to the Topeka Police Department.
“Anytime we try to get information or give them information that we have, we just kind of get brushed off,” she says.
The Topeka Police weren’t much better. “He basically told me that I wasn’t the only girl in the world that had been a victim of a crime,” Tylynn says, describing the time she asked why there wasn’t a detective on the case. “It made me feel upset, and I ended up tearing up. He just brushed me off. I was trying to really just get him to understand that that’s my life.”
Casey added, “It’s very frustrating. We have video footage of this lady using her debit card, wearing her things that could only be in her vehicle, and have nobody to give it to.”
The Topeka Police Department was unable to comment on the individual case but said when a crime occurs in separate cities, the case becomes more difficult because it involves more jurisdictions.
We hope this issue can get cleared up soon so Tylynn can stay safe from a diabetic emergency. The stolen vehicle was a 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara with a South Dakota plate that reads “8D0010.” If you have any information about the whereabouts of Tylynn’s car, her insulin pump, or the person that took them, please contact law enforcement.Whizzco