Car burglary devastates family |

Car burglary devastates family

by liz kellar
Staff Writer

The holidays are looking particularly bleak for a Penn Valley family of six that already was struggling to keep its head above water.

A burglar stole Carmella Lopez's purse out of her car Monday night — and with it $400 Lopez desperately needed not only for the holidays but for many of life's necessities.

"I had to go to my friend's house today to get (baby) wipes," she said Wednesday. "I had no money, no ID, no checks, nothing."

Lopez and her husband, Angel, had moved into the apartment on Broken Oak Court just two months ago after losing their Like Wildwood home.

Angel Lopez worked as a roofer with the state but was laid off in September, his wife said.

He left for Los Angeles to look for work two weeks ago but has only worked five days due to the weather. In the meantime, Lopez has been flying solo, taking care of their four children — aged 7, 5, 4 and 1 — with one on the way.

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"That's how desperate we are for every cent," she said. "There are no jobs here in Nevada County; we've looked everywhere."

Lopez has a photography business, FaithLily Photography, primarily working with families and babies.

She had just gotten paid for three sessions and was planning on using the money for the holidays, she said.

"The money was in my wallet," she said, adding, "My life is so crazy that I didn't bring my purse in … But that doesn't give anybody the right to hurt somebody else (and steal from them)."

Lopez called the loss "devastating, absolutely devastating."

A friend was having the family over for dinner, and the apartment manager brought her a turkey from Salvation Army for Thanksgiving, she said.

But she remains frustrated that there was little law enforcement could do.

"It's horrible that people get away with (stealing)," she said. "I have babies to take care of … I just want to make people aware that it's almost Christmas, and you need to protect your things. Lock your homes."

Lopez said she was not looking to be a charity case.

"Jobs would be wonderful," she said. "To work for money; we don't want things given to us for free."

Carmella Lopez has a Facebook page for her photography business at Husband Angel Lopez is a landscaper and also does construction work; he can be reached at (530) 903-2270.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call (530) 477-4229.

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