Burglars move into woman's home for 3 days, trash it while family is away

MUKILTEO, Wash. -- When Dani Dawson came home from a weekend away earlier this year, she found her Mukilteo house trashed by thieves.

"I had a painting on the hanging on the wall there. That's the first thing I noticed, that the painting was on the wall and then it was on the floor," she said.

Burglars had moved in for three days and stolen thousands in valuables, including all of her crystal collectibles. They dumped out all of her drawers and threw her clothes on the floor.  Every room was left in shambles.  She and her children immediately moved out.

"Some of my kids were born here and this is the only place they've ever known and now it's just bad, it's a bad place," said Dawson.

Mukilteo police did find one clue -- an open can of Orange Crush.  DNA on the can of soda identified one suspect as Kristopher Little, who prosecutors plan to charge with burglary and theft.

He's already in the Snohomish County Jail for illegally having a firearm.

Mukilteo police detective Brenda Greenmun is hoping someone will call her who was with Little during the burglary.

"Doesn't matter where you live. Main street, quiet road, have to take precautions to protect yourself and your property," said Greenmun.

She advises homeowners to sign up for their vacation house watch program run by volunteers.

"If you have submitted a form to the Mukilteo Police Department saying that you are on vacation, they will go by your house, check on it, make sure the windows are all in place, doors are secured and if they notice anything suspicious, they contact the police department immediately," said Greenmun.

They could have caught the burglars who destroyed Dawson's sense of safety.

"I don't know that they understand the emotional toll that it takes on families and especially children, kids. I don't know that they care. But that's the worst part," she said.

If you have any information that can help identify the rest of the burglars, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips. There is a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

You can also email detective Greenmun at bgreenmun@ci.mukilteo.wa.us but you have to call Crime Stoppers, too, to be eligible for the reward.