Car broken into with family members, toddlers inside near San Francisco’s Lombard Street

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Terrifying moments for a Chicago family who became victims of a smash-and-grab while visiting San Francisco this week.

Multiple family members and two toddlers were in the car when it happened near Lombard Street – A witness was able to snap these photos of the suspects during the break-in.

The victims say crime in a big city isn’t anything new to them but what shocked them most was the fact that this all happened while they had small children in the backseat. 

What also makes this smash and grab different from many others is one of the victims had something in the stolen bag that’s been tracking every move of the thieves since the robbery.

“I was in the car when it happened. All I could hear was a smash and then I said no, I jumped out of the car but it was quick. It was five seconds.”

Kimberly Balde and her sister Katherine stopped their rental car near Lombard Street on Monday when they became a victim of a smash-and-grab.

“You could see people were in the car so each seat was taken and my two daughters were in the back, one’s two and one’s four and it was behind the 4-year-old and like I said she seen him. He was wearing all black with a black ski mask and she said, “that ninja took that bag.”

A neighbor witnessed the break-in and snapped photos of the suspects saying three cars were circling the area and involved in the crime.

Kimberly says her bag was stolen, along with her computer, headphones, Katherine’s passport, the kids’ birth certificates, and more.

“It’s an organized crime for sure, like, they have it well thought out. It was a five-second deal and if they can get away with it in five seconds why wouldn’t they keep doing it.”

The family was visiting from Chicago, another city where they see a lot of crime. That’s why Kimberly says she keeps a GPS device, like an Apple Air Tag, on her laptop. It’s actually the reason she’s been able to track the robber’s location ever since the break-in.

Surveillance and cell phone video shows smash and grabs that have happened in this same location over the past year.

The sisters were aware of all these break-ins before visiting the city but didn’t expect it to happen so fast and while they were inside.

“My cousin said it though from the very beginning, ‘you gotta watch it. They have smash and grabs here.’ Her boyfriend said it. We were extra careful like we were trying to be extra careful but when you’re not and you do let your guard down. We snoozed. We snoozed. We sure did.”

The sisters filed a police report with SFPD and gave them information about the tracker on the laptop. As of tonight, its location was still moving but no arrests have been made.

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