A family visiting from Brazil, on their first trip to the United States, had their car broken into Tuesday night at a San Jose Applebee's parking lot, and the thieves got away with much more than a few shopping bags.
The car was parked in a well lit area, just outside the restaurant when it was burglarized.
"They broke the car windows and took three backpacks and one purse," said Victor Camara.
Camara said the bags contained $6,000 and a laptop. He was devastated.
"It was all my savings. I’m sad because I work a lot for this money," he said. "This is difficult for me because in Brazil, it’s like 3 is one dollar. The conversion is crazy."
The manager of the restaurant said there have been about five car break-ins in the parking lot in the past month or so. He said he will continue to encourage customers to bring valuables inside.
Camara and his family had just landed in San Jose and stopped for dinner, which is why all their luggage was still inside the rental car.
Surveillance video from a gas station next door shows two men approach the car. One leans into the side window while the other walks off with a bag. Their faces are not shown, but it appears they drove off in a dark sedan.
Camara called police and filed a report, but he doesn't expect the money to be returned. He received an email Wednesday morning from someone in Oakland claiming they found his passport. He has reached out to Oakland police to figure out a safe way to get it back.
"I’m young; I can work again and make my money," he said. "This is not important."
Camara is hoping his loss will help other families avoid becoming a target.
"We didn't imagine that this would happen. It's difficult," Camara said. "I think this whole world is dangerous. You guys and your families need to take care, to be careful."