ATLANTA - One family says thieves turned its engagement celebration into a nightmare after they stole thousands of dollars' worth of items from the family's car.
After a surprise engagement, the entire family was celebrating at the bride-to-be's favorite restaurant, Rosebud.
Some of those family members had flown in that night from Cleveland and parked in the lot behind the building. When they came out, thieves had taken everything from computers to wallets from inside the car.
"My daughter and her boyfriend came back from Aruba, and we were all there last night at the airport," said the bride-to-be's mother, Clare.
Clare said that's where her future son-in-law, Eric, proposed to her daughter, Lindsey, in front of both of their families, some of whom had flown in as a surprise. Afterward, the group went to dinner at Rosebud in Atlanta's Morningside neighborhood, to celebrate.
"It was a total surprise. She was shaking, she was so excited," Clare said.
Clare said when Eric went to get his family's rental car from behind the restaurant, the back window was smashed in. Cellphones, laptops, wallets and jewelry were gone. That's not all: thieves also took the camera used to record the moment Eric surprised Lindsey with the ring.
"What was a beautiful dream come true ended up being a nightmare of a night," Clare said.
Clare said Eric and a family member spotted men running off with their belongings behind the restaurant. They chased after them but that family member ended up hurt in the process.
"He sprained his ankle. They ended up spending the entire night at the hospital," Clare said.
Clare said the thieves got away in a dark-colored Chevy Impala. Instead of celebrating, the family is spending the day replacing cellphones, credit cards and other personal documents.
"Their greed just really ruined a happy occasion; our happy memories that we would have from this night," Clare said.