It was a rude return to Spokane for a group of Gonzaga University students this week. While away on holiday break, someone broke into their Logan neighborhood apartment, ransacking it and stealing what they could.
"Messy," was the best word Karly Kurata could use to describe the condition of her apartment Tuesday. "Our clothes were everywhere, food was all over the ground there were wrappers."
Kurata and her three roommates came home to find a broken front door and the mess inside.
"All of our rooms were locked and they kicked in every single door."
Closets were cleaned out, clothes thrown around the room and drawers torn through. They took all the jewelry - and, even took Kurata's piggy bank with the money inside. Even the bathroom trash can was turned upside down. The burglars took things like curling irons and nail polish, but left behind other things like passports and checks.
"There was a huge freezer there for all our food and they just like ate some of the food, took some of it and threw some of it on the ground," Kurata said.
And, the thieves took something that can't be replaced: the students' sense of security.
"We're all trying to think of how we are going to get back up and start again," Kurata said. "To clean up this huge mess and feel like safe enough to live here."
Spokane Police say burglaries like this increase during school breaks and at the start of summer vacation. They are looking at ways to curb the break-ins by establishing a neighborhood watch or having campus security do security checks over holiday breaks.
Kurata and her roommates did leave lights on and tried to make it look like someone was home. But, crooks know a college house when they see one and knew someone wouldn't be home until after the holiday break.
"You always think that that kinda stuff can't happen to you but it can," Kurata said.