STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- A Stockton woman thought she was being greeted by friendly neighbors, but instead, the people took a sentimental necklace.
Shoua Thao told FOX40 a group of people called out for his 69-year-old mother, who was in front of Thao's home at the time.
Surveillance video shows a group of people in a van reversing down Genova Lane before stopping in front of the home Thursday.
“She went over. They shook her hand, pulled her in,” Thao explained.
Thao said the group asked his mother if she knew the directions to a temple and she said no. But then they pulled her back in by saying they were celebrating their mother’s birthday and had gifts in hand.
“After putting a necklace over her neck, they decided to take it off. But instead of taking theirs off, they took hers,” Thao said.
The group then drove off.
“Then, my mom realized her necklace was gone and the other necklace was still on her,” Thao said.
His mother has owned the necklace for more than 30 years and it is worth thousands, according to Thao. He said it was her first big purchase when she moved to the U.S. from Laos.
“It’s been around her neck and everyone knew about the necklace that she always wore,” he said.
He immediately shared what happened in a neighborhood Facebook group and saw other posts with similar descriptions of the thieves.
“A van or an SUV. One gentleman, two girls in the back,” Thao explained.
While he’s hoping the necklace is returned to his mother, Thao said he now has advice for people who could become victims.
“Be safe. Be more cautious about who she talks to and keep a distance,” he told FOX40.
His family is in the process of filing a police report and are asking anyone who may know the people in the surveillance video to reach out to police.