Vicksburg house flooded by thieves, war medals stolen

Posted at 7:38 PM, Mar 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-06 19:38:18-05

VICKSBURG, Mich. -- A Vicksburg couple are plastering signs throughout town after coming home from Florida to find their home destroyed by thieves.

They don't know exactly when it happened, only that the break-in caused more than $40,000 damage and the loss of priceless heirlooms.

Those thieves left the windows open in the home, causing pipes to burst and water to run down the stairs and through the ceiling. But what's most upsetting to Linda Burnham and her husband is that both of their fathers' World War II medals were stolen.

“We feel really angry that somebody would do something like that. We’ve lived here for a long time -- over 20 years -- and we’ve never had a problem,” she said.

They’re installing new walls and ceilings, essentially rebuilding their home after it was ravaged by an intruder.

“We were in Florida and we had my son checking on the house for us,” she said. “They walked into the garage and there was water pouring out of the kitchen under the door into the garage.”

The thief or thieves tore the home apart, forcing the Burnhams to take matters into their own hands, plastering signs about town and offering a $2,000 reward to find out who’s responsible.

“A lot of the jewelry we had stolen was heirlooms, things we inherited,” she said. “Medals from my dad’s Army uniform in WWII.

The thieves left the windows open during the coldest week of the year.

“The pipes froze and broke in eight different places throughout the house and flooded the lower and main level of the house,” Linda said.

Left to gut the walls and ceilings, $40,000 damage and $7,000 worth of stolen goods, they’re still months away from a home that’s even livable.

“I’m sure there is a pretty robust security system in our future here,” she said.

If you have any information on the Vicksburg break-in, give the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department a call at (269) 383-8821.