Artifacts, heirlooms, jewelry stolen in Rancho Bernardo home burglary

Woman devastated at loss of family memories

RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif. - A Rancho Bernardo woman is devastated after being victimized by burglars twice last month.

Judy Skolnick paged through pictures, showing 10News the treasures that were stolen from her home.

"Jewelry, necklaces, rings; they're very unusual," said Skolnick.

But the value goes far beyond monetary.

"I never met my grandfather and he left me something before I was born and that was taken," said Skolnick.

There were items that survived the Holocaust, and Skolnick said, "It's something I wanted to save for my children."

She said if finances became critical, she could have cashed in some items, but the theft goes beyond that.

"For someone to take that from me, they squashed my retirement, but also my capability of giving," Skolnick said.

One necklace had special meaning.

"This was made out of the Witch Creek fire; this is all that was left of my mother's house and I went and sifted and sifted; didn't even know you had to wear masks," she said.

She persevered, creating a memory.

"It looks like it's just something worth maybe $150, but to me, it was worth my mother's whole house because that's all that was left," said Skolnick.

She showed 10News a loose brick where on June 3 someone vaulted a wall and then came through a rear sliding door. Skolnick's dogs are skittish now, and her Golden Retriever suffered an eye injury.

"It was my legacy; everything that I held onto that was personal for my children; that's what's so heartbreaking," said Skolnick.

San Diego police Officer Susan Steffen told 10News there's been a spike in burglaries in Rancho Bernardo and Scripps Ranch.  

"We're seeing a little increase, especially Rancho Bernardo, because it's summer and warm, people leaving windows open," said Steffen.

The Skolnicks were targeted again, three weeks later, but the alarm system alerted and the burglars left empty handed.


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