OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A warning for travelers as we approach what could be one of the biggest travel weekends of the year going into the July 4th holiday.
Recently thieves in Oakland targeted those who stopped for coffee on their way to Oakland International Airport. Witnesses reported a "lookout" who then signaled to a nearby SUV full of men who raided a family's car right in front of them.
"Four people! All covered face! Then they broke the window and took all the baggage inside," said Hulya Yalcin.
Yalcin is describing what happened when she recently stopped at Starbucks with her sister and niece on 98th Avenue in Oakland before dropping the two off at Oakland International Airport a matter of blocks down the road.
Immediately a man, who she says, looked like he was going to try to wash their windows, ran up to the car. Yalcin says he then took a good look in their windows, turned around, and took a big sip of water.
ABC7 News Reporter J.R. Stone asked, "So you think after he looked in the car, saw that there were items in the car, that the signal he gave to this other car nearby was drinking this glass of water?" To which Yalcin replied, "Yes, yes!"
Seconds later an SUV pulled into the Starbucks lot, busted out the back window, and stole Yalcin's sister and niece's luggage as they stood there watching. The two didn't go in because of the warning signs posted outside of the Starbucks but it didn't matter. As the four drove off, Yalcin's sister called the police.
"They (police) didn't even show up," said Yalcin.
According to crime stats linked to the City of Oakland's website, there have been 223 reported larceny thefts in sight of the Starbucks on 98th so far this year. 29 reported in the last four weeks.
Yalcin wants to warn others who might be traveling this holiday weekend to be careful.
"The hardworking people are going on vacation and I don't want the vacation to turn into a nightmare like my sister," said Yalcin.
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