There are burglaries, all of them bad, and then there is this kind:
A home thoroughly ransacked from top to bottom, nearly every nook and cranny opened and every personal item handled and strewn about, valuables of every kind stolen.
And the family suspects it might have been done by a "friend."
Police are seeking the burglar who forcibly entered a two-story Wauwatosa home and stole thousands of dollars worth of property Friday night.
According to their report:
A couple and their son returned from a day trip at 12:06 a.m. Saturday to their home in the 1900 block of North 71st Street and found a scene of chaos.
When they entered their front door, they said, it was instantly clear that their home had been pillaged, with laundry, knick-knacks and couch cushions tossed all over.
They called and waited anxiously, fearing there might still be someone in their home.
Officers cleared the house, the family began to take stock, and the details began to become clear.
Bent wire and matted down grass in the back yard led police to believe that the suspect got onto the property by hopping a low fence. The burglar then broke in through the back door by shattering one of its windows, reaching in and unlocking the deadbolt.
Once inside, the suspect ransacked the home with abandon. In the the second-floor master bedroom, a laptop computer and all the wife's jewelry, from a half-carat diamond to a jade and pearl necklace to plain costume wear, was stolen.
The burglar likely moved from top to bottom, rummaging through every room, opening and upending nearly every drawer and cabinet, down to the basement storage area where the husband kept two large black cases that housed a collection of decorative swords, daggers and knives.
Both cases were opened and out of place, but none of the swords were stolen. The suspect did make away with an assortment of 12 knives, including commemorative Bowie knives with intricate handles and silver blades.
The owner said that some of the knives were so distinctive that they would stand out easily at a pawn or resale shop, although he could not remember the distinguishing features of every one.
Also missing from the storage room was a rosewood cigar humidifier – and the half-dozen fine Don Tomas cigars it contained.
Curiously, their son's upper-floor bedroom had been entered, but nothing had been stolen, and his music room in the basement, filled with valuable items, had been disturbed, but nothing had been taken there either.
Upon reflection, and after talks with their son and some of his compatriots, the couple called police back to say they suspected one of his friends who had canceled other plans to be with them that day and was one of the few people who knew they would be out of town.
Police are continuing the investigation.