A Grover Beach resident will find his collectible sneakers after they were removed from his apartment, police say.
After an apartment caught fire in Grover Beach in August, four units were evacuated.
Two units remained vacant due to fire and water damage. Burglars broke into the vacant building and stole most of the valuables from the downstairs unit, Grover Beach police told KSBY.
The downstairs apartment was occupied by a family of seven who were left homeless after the fire.
The burglars took a television, a desktop computer, laptops that the children used for school and a refrigerator.
They also walked away with a resident’s sneaker collection.
“The young man who owned these shoes spent his hard-earned pocket money on them,” the police department explained in a Facebook post, noting that some of the shoes were collectible Air Jordans that were hard to replace.
“[What they took] was obviously nothing small,” Police Chief John Peters told KSBY. “They got in there and stole just about everything [the family] necessary.”
Police investigators used CCTV footage of neighbors to identify two people, an adult man and woman, who they believe were responsible for the burglary.
Peters said one person was contacted and investigated. The other is still pending.
A report is sent to the prosecutor’s office for prosecution.
The police were able to find and recover the collection of sneakers from the young man and return it to him.
“To those thinking of preying on the vulnerable, please don’t bother,” the police department wrote on Facebook. “And to the young man who lost his shoes, the Grover Beach Police Department has your back. Your shoes are coming home.”
The family of 7 has yet to find permanent accommodation. Police said they are currently staying with family members in northern Santa Barbara County.
The Five Cities Homeless Coalition was working with the family to try to find them housing, and the Police Officers Association gave the family $550 gift cards to help with necessities.
A GoFundMe for the man who lived in the upstairs unit was started by his niece.
Damage to the building is repairable and should not be demolished.