LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – A family in Longmont has lost thousands of dollars worth of valuables after people ransacked their home, thinking it was an estate sale.
A legitimate estate sale was happening three houses down the street from Mary Andrews’ home on Texas Lane on Friday.
One factor contributing to the confusion may be the pile of belongings left over from a recent yard sale piled on part of the lawn in Andrews’ front lawn.
According to a police report, someone started a rumor that everything inside the home was free.
“It’s just hard to deal with. That’s all,” Andrews told CBS4 photographer Dale Atchison. “I think it was like a riot of greed. They just got carried away.”
Andrews could not have imagined when she stepped away from her house that she would return to unwanted visitors rummaging through her personal belongings and taking them home.
“A lot of people were in there. My neighbors said hundreds went in and out of getting things from the house,” Andrews added. “There were signs that said ‘Estate Sale: the whole house.’ So people didn’t bother to look at the address. And some of the signs didn’t have an address on (them).”
People sifted through every room taking anything of value, including sentimental items that are irreplaceable.
“My jewelry. I really feel bad about that,” Andrews said. And I feel bad (about) the fact that my grandson had a computer taken and he’s in school. And then he had his cameras taken. And he needs the pictures on them, and they’re gone.”
“You don’t go to an estate sale and it’s all free. You go to an estate sale to buy things,” said Leslie Cockrum, the mother of two of Andrews’ grandsons, who also live at the home.
The activity left a rug ripped and a hole in the wall.
Getting things back was not easy.
“Some people had bungee cords holding things down in their trunks. And I said, ‘that stuff’s mine. I want it back into this driveway.’ ‘Oh no no, it’s free,’ (they said). ‘I said no it’s not, it’s mine, it’s my personal items. Put them back.’ Some people in the driveway argued with me,” Andrews said.
The confusion did not end on Friday.
“We even had someone knock on our door yesterday and say, ‘we changed our mind. We’ll take the double bedroom set upstairs.’ I don’t have an upstairs,” Andrews added, with a laugh.
Andrews said that all she wanted was the return of the belongings. She was asking anyone who may have something to drop it back by.
One person had already returned one box of belongings Tuesday morning.