Oakland cell phone theft caught on camera

A brazen crime caught on camera.

A woman whose iPhone was stolen right out of her hands in broad daylight in Oakland reached out to KTVU to share her story.

Kaitlyn, who asked us not to give her last name, says this type of crime is happening too often and she wants to raise awareness.

In her case, the brazen crime was caught on camera and she hopes the surveillance footage will help police catch the thieves. 

The greeting "Welcome to Chinatown" is painted in bold letters on a fence on 7th Street at Harrison. 

But the Oakland native says she no longer finds this area welcoming. 

"[I] walk around in the neighborhood by myself, I just don't feel safe doing that by myself anymore," she said. 

She shared surveillance footage of the theft captured by several cameras. She was texting her friend to open the front gate at a home when two teenagers walked by. 

Less than 30 seconds later, they returned. One of them wearing navy was seen snatching the phone from Kaitlyn. She ran after them. 

"It was just gut instinct to chase them, but I probably shouldn't have, knowing that I don't know what they're capable of," Kaitlyn said. 

The 26-year-old chased the two thieves around the corner. She said the one with her phone hid behind a parked car. But soon after, she lost sight of him and his accomplice. 

Kaitlyn said she called 911, but was told it was a low priority case so police did not respond.

"They said they weren't coming out basically because I didn't have a specific address of where the suspects were," said Kaitlyn. 

She described the thieves as between 14 to 16 years old, five feet, four inches tall. Both have a thin build and a prominent nose. 

"It happens way too often and the fact that it happened in Chinatown where there's so many elderly people. There's children. There's a middle school nearby. Yeah, it just needs to stop," she said. 

She said she was able to track her stolen phone for two hours after the theft. It was last in San Francisco's Civic Center. But since then, the phone has been turned off. 

She said she contacted Oakland police again after obtaining the surveillance footage. 

"I'm not hurt and my phone was replaceable. I'm not super angry. Just angry that it happens so often in this area. It's just seems way too common now," she said. 

She plans to meet with police so she can give them the surveillance videos. Kaitlyn hopes her experience will remind everyone to be aware of their surroundings at all times.