Posted on November 25, 2010 at 6:46 PM
Updated today at 1:36 PM
DESOTO - A crime on Wednesday served as another reminder as to why people are asked to stay alert while using ATMs.
That quick cash can also make people a target for thieves.
The latest victim: the wife of a Dallas city councilman.
It happened at the Dallas Teacher Credit Union near Wheatland and Westmoreland in Desoto.
Investigators think they've done it before. The men took more than Marshella Atkins' cash and jewelry - they stole her sense of security.
Despite all laughs over Marshella Atkins' holiday cooking, deep down she's grieving, terrified over what happened at this ATM in broad daylight.
"He just took my life away from me took my life away from me," she said.
Wednesday afternoon, Marshella withdrew several hundred dollars, when a businessman, standing 5 foot 6 inches with a thick West African accent approached her in the bank parking lot. He claimed he was lost, needed directions and made a living helping the poor.
"I'm kinda one of those persons I help anybody from the streets," Atkins said.
Marshella is the wife of Dallas city councilman Tennel Atkins.
They help strangers all the time and this time seemed no different, until another man showed up. Immediately, the mood changed.
"For me it was like two minutes of horror because it was just like, all of the sudden he turned from like an angel to a monster to a monster," Atkins said.
He forced Marshella to withdraw everything from her checking and savings.
"My son is battling a life threatening disease and that's [the] money I kinda keep for his medical situation, for emergencies and situations of that nature," Atkins said.
Marshella says even though she never saw a weapon, she never fought back, never resisted. She just cried when they took her four-carat diamond wedding ring, as well as her anniversary ring.
"They took everything. They took my Thanksgiving. They took my Christmas. They took something I don't think I'll ever get back again," she said.
Marshella Atkins claims it took Desoto police over 45 minutes to respond to her 911 call.
We're told because of the Thanksgiving holiday, staffing was limited, plus three immediate calls were being handled, including a major structure fire, a burglary in progress, and a man with a gun.
Police say they responded as soon as they could.
Meanwhile, the two robbers remain on the loose.