Wichita family's belongings stolen after fire

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WICHITA -- A Wichita family devastated after a fire took their home, has now lost everything after burglars stole the few belongings they had left.

Julie Copeland's mobile home in the 4100 block of S. Hydraulic was totaled by a fire on Tuesday morning when her son lit a mattress on fire in his bedroom. She came back the next day to collect valuables that weren't harmed by the fire. Copeland said she was shocked when she entered her burnt home.

"They went in and tossed the whole place," said Copeland. "It looks like a tornado went through there."

The thieves flipped and tore through the entire home. Ruined mattresses, couches and clothes remain scattered across the floor.

"They stole a brand new double-seated stroller that I had, they took my DVD player, about 50 different movies that I had just purchased," said Copeland.

Copeland said her neighbor spotted two men enter her apartment through the back door, but didn't report it to police because he thought they were there to help. Once the burglars entered they didn't stop at just the valuables.

"Even down to my cat food and my cat litter," said Copeland. "It's pretty devastating that someone would do that to somebody's stuff. It's clear that we're in devastation because of what has taken place."

Copeland and her family recently moved from the state of Washington three months ago for a fresh start. Now everything she's bought since is gone. She warns others dealing with disaster to collect their valuables right away.

"People should be aware that if anything like this happens to them to make sure if there's anything remotely in decent condition a fire or whatever didn't get, get it out."

Copeland reported the theft to police. So far no arrests have been made.


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