Smash-and-Grab Thieves Break Into Car While Child Still Inside in Oakland

Auto burglaries in Oakland jumped by 16% this year compared to 2020, according to Oakland Police Department crime data.

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An Oakland father is warning families to stay alert during the holidays after thieves broke into his vehicle while his daughter was still inside.

Michael Curry said the smash-and-grab took place Monday morning outside Cole Coffee Café, where he made a stop to get a cup of coffee before dropping his 8-year-old daughter off at school.

And in the seconds it took for him to cross this street and pop into the café to make his order, that’s when he heard a loud bang and glass breaking.

“My daughter was screaming 'they took your bag, they took your bag' and I just ran over. I picked her up and I hugged her. It was a wild scene,” Curry said.

Curry’s daughter witnessed first-hand how quickly a smash-and-grab can happen.

“She’s tough. She was able to walk through it. She gets the story about being responsible and being aware,” he said.

Curry said that witnesses told him it was a team of two people, a getaway driver and a man, who smashed Curry’s car window and stole a bag that carried his laptop and passport.

“My laptop is in my friend’s car. Two blocks from here, right now and I thought about exactly this – when I left it there, should I cover it up?” said Walter Park of San Francisco.

According to Curry, witnesses told him the two suspects were driving a 2015 Silver Sentra.

When Oakland Police officers arrived, Curry said the vehicle description rang a bell.

“They immediately told us they was a similar vehicle that we’ve been hearing about and that turned out to be true after talking with a few other neighbors,” he said.

NBC Bay Area looked up the Oakland Police Department's crime stats. Auto burglaries jumped by 16% this year compared to 2020. Oakland police are investigating.

In the meantime, Curry said that he hopes sharing his story will remind families to stay alert, especially during the holidays.

“It’s November. it’s the holidays. Be aware, things come up,” he said.

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