Oakland visitors fall victim to car burglars, helpless as device tracked to SF

A father and son visiting the Bay Area from Ohio had their rental car broken into at a hotspot for car burglaries in Oakland - and were further frustrated when they learned police couldn't go find a stolen iPad that they tracked to San Francisco.

It all began Friday when Mark Day and his son arrived at Oakland International Airport, picked up a rental car and then drove to the In-N-Out restaurant on Oakport Street to get a quick bite to eat.

"We had not sat down and someone ran into the restaurant, said our car had been broken into," Day said.

"We had not been there 15 minutes. We went to In-N-Out restaurant there by the airport, we were told to lock our valuables in the trunk of our car. We did that."

But cell phone video from a witness shows what happened in the parking lot. Someone in a Ford Explorer broke into their rented Toyota Corolla and then took off.

"You hear the stories, but where we come from, from rural Ohio, we're cattle farmers, I'm a chiropractor. You just don't see things happen that fast, and it was like, ‘Wow,’" Day said.

The right rear window of their Toyota was smashed by a thief who then made a beeline for the trunk.

Oakland police Officer Milagro Ortega took a report from Day's son Marcus, who lost a suitcase with a number of items, including his iPad.

"All can be replaced, no one got hurt, but still, it's shocking," Day said.

But even more shocking is that after they got an alert that the stolen iPad was pinging from Laguna Street and Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco, they thought the police could help track it down. But Oakland police told them their hands are tied.

"Oakland police cannot go search because we are not there in person with them to go search that address," Day said. "They can't get a warrant for it, even though we have a screenshot."

Father and son visit ballparks across the country and were in town to visit the Oakland Coliseum for the first time. Despite what happened, they said they had fun.

"It was just that first 15 minutes of that In-N-Out parking lot in that area that seems to be very dangerous," Day said. "Everything else was a great visit. We had a great time."

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at Henry.Lee@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and facebook.com/henrykleefan