Thieves steal touring band's passports and green cards in Oakland

A touring rock band, was faced with the worst-case scenario in downtown Oakland this week, after they discovered their van had been cleaned out by thieves

The thieves took computers, music equipment, cash, and personal documents, including the Venezuelan musicians' green cards, passports, and Social Security cards.

"The very first moment, it’s 100 percent shocking and you get so scared, because you have so much important stuff inside," said Dani Hernandez of The Zeta.

The thieves struck Monday afternoon near Webster and 15th streets as the band was inside a coffee shop. They say they only left the van for five minutes.

"It actually was such a little window of time, that we left the van to go and grab coffee," said Hernandez.

His band, is now on their way to a gig in Fullerton, Calif., as part of a 45-day tour across the US. The stolen passports are of particular concern because Venezuela does not have diplomatic relations with the United States. 

"You know, to get your Venezuelan passport is such a task, it’s so hard," said Hernandez.

MORE: Napa doctor admits to selling fake COVID vaccine cards, immunization pills

The band says they thought they’d been playing it safe.

"During the whole time that we stay in San Francisco, we know it’s not the best place to leave your van, so we were very careful the whole time that we were there. Overnight we had some of the guys sleeping in the van," said Hernandez.

Between the stolen items and the damage to their van, Hernandez says the group, which all works two jobs, were down around 12 thousand dollars. Then something unexpected happened. Their manager set up a GoFundMe page, and the group’s fans, responded immediately.

"We have a beautiful community having our back and supporting us. We have a ton of friends writing us and giving us so much love and so much support," said Hernandez.

At last count more than $13,000 has been raised for The Zeta, who say they now have renewed energy for the tour ahead.

"We’re super excited for our tour. You know, after the pandemic and not being able to perform for a couple of years, being back on the road, it’s so awesome," said Hernandez. 

As for getting back some of their stolen items, they say Oakland police told them it’s highly unlikely. 

The band says all they have to go on right now is a witness who says they saw several people in a red SUV breaking into their van.