Michigan couple's engagement ring stolen at Bay Area In-N-Out

- A Michigan couple said a 1.3 carat, oval diamond engagement ring was stolen from their rental car within in an hour of landing in Oakland on Monday morning.

Jurgen Basho and Teuta Kokona are visiting the Bay Area from St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

“I’ve always wanted to come obviously I wanted to try In-N-Out for the first time,” Kokona said.

The couple is supposed to be on a trip of a lifetime, but one hour after landing at Oakland International Airport on Monday, their rental car was broken into. It happened around 11:05 a.m. in the parking lot of an In-N-Out near Hegenberger Road and Interstate 880. It is an area that is a hot spot for car break-ins in Oakland.

The engagement ring was inside a backpack in the back seat of the rental car. Basho said he was waiting in line to order when he saw the break-in happen.

“I’m looking out of the window and I see somebody grab a backpack out of car because they had busted the window,” he said. “He ran over to the next car and busted that one too.”

Kokona said she tried on an engagement ring several weeks ago, but she had no idea Basho planned to propose. Basho said he bought a bigger ring than the one Kokona liked and had envisioned popping the question at the Golden Gate Bridge.

“I’ve been waiting for it for eight years,” Kokona said.

The couple called the Oakland Police Department and were told to file a report online by an officer who showed up to the scene.

“I don't think they care or care enough to make a big deal out of it because they know it happens all the time,” Kokona said.

Basho said he did not chase after the thief, but saw the man got into the passenger side of a silver sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima. 

The couple is now trying to find the good in the bad. They plan to spend their first night in Yosemite and the rest of the nights in San Francisco until they return to Michigan on Saturday.

“At least we're OK that's the only thing,” she said. “Who cares about the car.”

“A part of me says I want to fly back home, but a part of me is like we’ve got to enjoy it, even the most valuable thing got taken from me,” Basho said.

A spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department said they continue their outreach services to bring awareness to the merchants and community regarding car thefts. Warning signs and information tips are posted, patrols have increased, and surveillance operations continue to identify and arrest offenders. 

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the couple replace the stolen ring. 
 

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