NEWBURY PARK, Calif. (KTLA) — The Springs Fire has left its mark on Ventura County, but for one family in the area, the blaze wasn’t their only problem.
A group of burglars seemed to be looking for the perfect time to strike.
The White family, of Newbury Park, said they were focused on protecting their new home from the Springs Fire when thieves targeted their old home, helping themselves to the family’s belongings.
A wall of flames, as tall as 50 feet in some places, closed in on Paul and Shelley Smith’s new home that was right in the Springs Fire’s path.
Through a little luck, the Smith’s home was spared, even though the backyard was scorched.
Thieves ravaged the home the Whites are moving out of, stealing everything that wasn’t tied down, including the welcome mat.
But the Whites say the thieves left behind plenty of fingerprints for police investigators.
The burglars took lots of lawn decorations and handmade birdhouses, some with baby birds still inside.
“The mother is frantically going back and forth searching for her babies,” Shelley Smith said.
Paul Smith said it’s hard to believe someone could hurt other people while everyone in the area was focused on battling a destructive wildfire.
“The only thing I can think of is somebody desperately wants to redecorate their porch,” Shelley Smith said.