MIAMI (CBS4) – “My family is a good family,” said the woman as she surveyed her home, not just burglarized but torn apart.
She asked that CBS4 News not show her face or reveal her name for fear that whoever burglarized and traumatized her home might come back and further traumatize her.
The family – Mom, Dad, and two daughters – returned to the home they have owned for fourteen years after a week long trip to Cuba to celebrate their eldest daughter’s quinces – 15th birthday – with relatives there. When they opened the front door Monday afternoon, they walked into a home laid waste.
“When we come back, I see this. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know who do it,” she said in imperfect but perfectly understandable english.
The intruders broke in through a kitchen window and proceeded to tear gaping holes in every wall, rip open every pillow, look in and under every mattress and ransack every drawer. They broke through the ceiling in several rooms.
They apparently thought – wrongly – that they would hit the mother load in the duplex in the 2900 block of Northwest 28th Street in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood.
“I don’t have money, I only work. I have two kids. My husband work,” the woman said.
Her husband drives a delivery truck. She helps manage a condominium building.
“I don’t have money, I don’t have a good car, nothing. I don’t have nothing,” she said.
Rather than the fortune the burglars apparently sought, they got some jewelry. Not much. Jewelry worth considerably less than the amount of damage the burglars caused looking for bounty that wasn’t there.
The police report estimates damage to the ripped open walls, alone, to be at least $20,000.
The family lives on a street of working folk. A policeman, his marked cruiser parked out front, lives just across the way from the burglarized home.
“This goes on, you know. And in this community, you have a cop right here and it still goes on,” said the police officer’s neighbor Adolfo Llanes. “It’s sad. You’ve just got to be on the lookout.”
CBS4’s Gary Nelson asked the burglarized homeowner if she has insurance.
“Si, I have insurance,” she replied, eyes red from crying.
Nothing, though, can replace the stolen family heirlooms whose sentimental value cannot be over estimated. And nothing can remove the feeling of total violation the woman says will stay with her forever.
Miami-Dade Police came to the home Monday afternoon, took photographs, collected finger prints, and canvassed the neighborhood. The department declined to make anyone available to be interviewed for this report.
A neighbor reported seeing three men in the yard of the home about two or three o’clock Sunday afternoon, but thought it was the husband with friends. The intruders turned up the volume on the stereo in the living room, apparently to mask the sounds of the demolition going on inside.
Anyone with information that might help police is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.