Things were bad enough for 43-year-old Stacy Omelinoff. Earlier this month she lost her job. Then her car broke down and she spent more than $500 to get it running again.
Thanksgiving weekend brought more terrible news.
On Friday, she was awakened by police banging on the door of her Los Angeles home. Is your car missing? an officer asked.
No, Omelinoff answered. It’s parked in front of a friend’s house. After receiving more information from his dispatcher, the officer told her it seemed the car was still there, after all.
But it was totaled, he said. “What do you mean, totaled?” Omelinoff asked him, she told InsideEdition.com Tuesday.
"Vandalized," he replied.
So she asked her cousin to drive her to Koreatown, where she’d left her Oldsmobile parked in front of a friend’s house while she celebrated Thanksgiving with her family.
Vandalized didn’t exactly cover what had been done to her car.
Her friend’s surveillance camera captured what appeared to be a young woman climbing on her car, stomping on the roof, pulling off the grill and ripping out a windshield wiper, which she used to gouge a nonsensical series of letters and numbers across the vehicle, stripping away paint down to gray metal.
Omelinoff burst into tears.
“It was unbelievable,” she said.
Even harder to believe, she said, is the video shows the woman went after her car for more than six hours. Vehicles slowed to down to watch the spectacle, she said. Pedestrians took photos. But no one called police until a nearby business worker phoned at about 9 a.m., she said.
The car assailant was still on the scene when police arrived, the video appears to show. She was handcuffed, taken into custody and placed under a psychiatric hold for evaluation, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Public Information Officer Tony Im told InsideEdition.com that it was not clear whether the woman was still being treated.
“We don’t know where she is in her healing process,” he said. A police report was filed, but the woman has not been criminally charged, he said.
Omelinoff said she wished no harm to the woman.
“This woman had mental health issues. I don’t believe she really knew what she was doing,” Omelinoff said. “There are thousands of numbers and letters that don’t make any sense,” etched into Omelinoff’s car, she said.
“I feel sorry for her.”
A GoFundMe page was established by Omelinoff’s cousin to raise money for a new car.
Omelinoff had only minimal auto insurance after losing her job as a caregiver to a 94-year-old woman whose family was forced to put the elderly woman in a nursing home.
Told late Tuesday that the fundraising site had raised more than $8,500, Omelinoff was stunned. “Oh, wow,” she said. “Oh, thank you. Oh, yes!”