MILLBRAE, Calif. - A sense of safety in one Millbrae neighborhood has been shattered for some. Residents are upset after police say a man broke into their neighbor's home and stole her most prized possessions.
"We should all look after each other," said Millbrae resident Fanny Feng. "Someday it could happen to you."
The victim, Josephine Huang, is a Bay Area community leader who spent decades working in various roles within the U.S. Government. She suffers from dementia and her family can't help but wonder if she was targeted by the burglar.
"These memories of her past, of her husband, are all that she has," said Clement Chen, Huang's son-in-law. "They even took locks of her late husband's hair."
Home security cameras caught the burglar in the act. In it, a man can be seen casually walking throughout the house and surveying the woman's belongings before deciding what to take. A number of Chinese antiques, as well as jewelry and other priceless possessions were stolen.
"This is the first time I experienced this," says Huang. "They took everything I have."
Despite this most recent crime, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office says residential burglaries in Millbrae are actually down roughly 60 percent from January to July of 2017, compared to the same time period last year.
Law enforcement officials say they've been working hard to develop trust with the community members they serve and protect.
"As detectives are working through the case, they're basically up little crumbs and pieces to put the puzzle together," said Det. Salvador Zuno with the San Mateo Co. Sheriff's Office. "Anything they can get in the form of pictures, videos, and photos, we use all that."
The suspect has not been identified and/or found, but detectives are actively working on the case.
Meanwhile, Huang's family has turned to social media to help spread the word about the burglar. So far, the home security video they posted on Facebook has been viewed more than 100,000 thousand times.
"We had no reason to think that this neighborhood or that Josephine would be targeted," said Chen.