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Suspects identified, shoes returned after burglary in Grover Beach

grover beach sneakers 9-15-22.jpg
Posted at 3:01 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 18:01:53-04

A Grover Beach resident will be reunited with his collectible sneakers after they were taken from his apartment, police say.

After an apartment caught fire in Grover Beach in August, four units were evacuated.

Two units were left vacant due to fire and water damage. Burglars broke into the vacant building and stole most of the valuable items in the downstairs unit, Grover Beach Police told KSBY.

The lower apartment was occupied by a family of seven that was left homeless after the fire.

Burglars took a TV, a desktop computer, laptop computers the kids used for school and a refrigerator.

They also made off with one resident's sneaker collection.

"The young man who owned these shoes spent his hard earned allowance money on them," the police department shared in a Facebook post, noting that some of the shoes were collectible Air Jordan's that are difficult to replace.

"[What they took] was obviously nothing small," Police Chief John Peters told KSBY. "They went in there and stole pretty much everything [the family] needed."

Police investigators used video surveillance footage from neighbors to identify two people, and adult man and woman, they believe were responsible for the burglary.

Peters said one person has been contacted and investigated. The other is still outstanding.

A report is being sent to the DA's office for prosecution.

Police were able to find and recover the young man's sneaker collection and return it to him.

"To those who think about preying on the vulnerable, don't bother," the police department wrote on Facebook. "And to the young man who lost his shoes, the Grover Beach Police Department has your back. Your shoes are coming home."

The family of 7 has not yet found permanent housing. Police say they are staying with family members in north Santa Barbara County for the time being.

Five Cities Homeless Coalition was working with the family to try to find them housing, and the Police Officers Association gave the family $550 worth of gift cards to help them with necessities.

A GoFundMe for the man who lived in the upstairs unit was started by his niece.

The damage to the apartment building is reparable, and is not expected to be torn down.