(KRON) — A group of Canadian students in the Bay Area for technology internships were the victims of a smash and grab at a San Leandro In-N-Out Burger on Saturday afternoon, a student tells KRON4. Eleven months ago, a group of high school students were targeted in the same parking lot.
Michelle Wong, Chris Tan, Justin Lu and Joshua Lee are all part of a four-month software engineering internship with a local tech company. On Saturday around 1 p.m., they made a pitstop at the In-N-Out at 15575 Hesperian Blvd. The four students each had their backpacks with their personal computers, company computers and other belongings. They covered them up in the trunk with a jacket and headed inside for a quick bite.
When they returned to their car, they found the back and side windows smashed in, and all of their belongings were gone. The group panicked. They called 911, but were quickly placed on hold. When they eventually got in touch with someone, they were told to call the non-emergency line.
The spoke with the security guard outside. He said he didn’t see the smash and grab happen, but he told the group about five of them happen in the parking lot each day.
After being placed on hold on the non-emergency line, the group decided it might be faster to head straight to a local police department to file a report in person. They took an Uber to two police stations, but both were closed. One station had a call box, so they called and made another request.
“They originally told us to just file an online report, but we really wanted someone to come to the scene,” Wong says. Police arrived about four or 5 hours later.
Wong says the group tried to track their belongings using the Find My application, but it wouldn’t work. One of the students had his passport and social security card in his bag, so he has added worries about what could happen next.
The company Wong is interning for has been helpful so far. She immediately contacted her IT department to lock her work laptop and accounts, but she hasn’t been directly in touch with her manager yet because it’s still the weekend.
Previous smash and grab incident at San Leandro In-N-Out in May 2022
If the story seems familiar, that’s because it is. Last May, a group of students traveling to the Bay Area had their belongings stolen in a smash-and-grab while they were visiting the same In-N-Out. The incident also happened during the day while a security guard was on the site.
KRON4 reached out to In-N-Out for comment on the incident, but we have not heard back.