Members of a Vietnamese American family celebrating the Lunar New Year in Oakland says they are left scared and scarred after a home-invasion robbery on Friday around noon.
Their home is on 22nd Avenue near Highland Hospital
Theresa Dinh showed us the locker that she used to store cash and jewelry. It's now gone after being stolen by thieves who broke into her home while she was visiting temple in observance of the Lunar New Year.
But four relatives were home, including her brother-in-law who was cooking in the kitchen. Trung Le says three robbers came in thru the side doors.
"They had masks and gloves on," says Le in Vietnamese. His niece Ann Nguyen translated, "They
put his hands around his throat and pushed him down. They took his phone and his wallet."
Le says one robber stood watch over him, his two daughters and four-month-old grandson while the other two thieves ransacked the home.
He estimates the robbers were in the home for about an hour before leaving with jewelry and cash,
including red envelopes containing good luck money for the new year, that were going to be given away. Initially, the family thought the robbers had stolen all their cell phones, so they used an iPad to Facebook messenger a relative to call 911.
While KTVU was at the home visiting, they discovered the phones in a toilet.
Just the night before, the extended family was in a joyful mood celebrating New Year's Eve.
Inside, the home is decorated and the children dressed for the occasion.
"Very sad, you know. Its the new year. We should be family together. Have fun," says Dinh.
Still the family is counting it's blessings.
"If they took it, okay no problem, as long as everybody ok. That's good," says Dinh.
A neighbor shared with KTVU this image from his surveillance camera that shows the suspect vehicle ---a dark colored sedan.
Family members say the thieves stole more than $3,000 and family heirlooms. Yet, they're grateful no one was hurt.