ST. LOUIS - Lori Pletka has a brand-new car just two months after she was carjacked at gunpoint in the St. Louis Fox Park neighborhood.
"They came up behind me, pulled me and I looked down and that's all I could see was the gun" Pletka said. "Time just kind of stopped... that's all I could focus on and they said don't scream just give us everything you have" she said.
Two men got away with her car. Police found it totaled in the Benton Park West neighborhood the next day, but for Pletka, it would take time before she got her sense of normalcy and security back.
"I felt like I was not safe at any given time" she said. "I couldn't sleep, any kind of movement, any kind of sound, my friends stayed the night with me, I stayed the night at friend's houses, I had friends and co-workers take me home and kind of watch me get into my house" she said.
In recent weeks, we've reported on a number of carjacking’s around the city, including one woman being carjacked in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood and another being carjacked in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood. Pletka says she loves the city too much to let it live up to its negative stigma and wants to use her experience to raise awareness and push for change.
"I think that us getting connected and communicating and being aware can help take this city to the next level and help people take us more seriously" she said.
And she's calling on city leaders to take these crimes seriously and work to find real solutions.
"We're active, we care, we just need help from the city, we need to get connected and we need to take those steps together to actually make change" she said.