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Shelltown family faces double burglary since February amid flood aftermath

Burglars target flooded Shelltown home two times since late February
Posted at 5:10 PM, Mar 11, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A Shelltown family, still recovering from the extensive flood damages, has been targeted twice by burglars within the past week and a half.

“Who would do that kind of thing to people who have lost everything? Who would still try to take from those people?" Anna Ramirez said. Her family lost almost all belongings during the storm.

The family of nine experienced significant losses when their home of 35 years was inundated by water in January. Lacking flood insurance, they continue to face challenges in the rebuilding process.

“We keep going and working. But in reality, we're broken inside." Ramirez said. "We lost everything, and it's heartbreaking."

The first burglary occurred two weeks ago, involving the theft of a dehumidifier and several tools.

The storage room, containing donated items and possessions, was ransacked. A bag with of photo frames and vacation souvenirs was taken. The thief likely got in through a door with a broken lock.

“It hurts to see the very little things we did have taken away from us. These people have no morals,” said Ramirez.

Over the weekend, another burglary took place, this time through a likely forced entry via a back window.

Four blower fans, lent by flood volunteers, were stolen. A neighbor reported a similar incident, with blowers taken the same night.

San Diego police confirmed five other break-ins at flooded homes since the Jan. 22 flooding, prompting increased patrols.

Still, Ramirez said her family feels insecure.

The rebuild led by her father, a 70-year-old retired contractor, will likely be delayed as essential equipment can no longer be left at the house.

“Why would we do that if they're just going to take them again,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez said while the stolen blowers were donated, they still owe nearly more than $2,500 for the stolen dehumidifier.

San Diego Sheriff's deputies also reported one looting incident in Spring Valley and have increased patrols in the flooded neighborhoods.

A Gofundme campaignhas been set up to help the Ramirez family with their rebuild.