Joanne and Mike Adinolfi moved into their vacation home less than a year ago. Now the couple says they're starting over after thieves emptied their cozy, Milton hideaway.
"I was blown away when I first walked in," Mike Adinolfi said.
Adinolfi arrived at his home Nov. 13 after a builder of other homes in the Milton Meadows development off of Route 5 called to say Adinolfi's home had been burglarized. A Realtor showing nearby homes alerted the builder after noticing major appliances had disappeared from two sample homes.
The Adinolfis had secured their new house before superstorm Sandy, but as he walked in, Mike Adinolfi couldn't even recognize his well-appointed home. Room after room was completely or nearly empty.
"They knew what they were doing," Joanne said. "It would've taken a long time to empty this house."
Carpet indentations are the only thing left that show where a couch, table, chair or bed once sat. An empty space is all that remains in the custom cabinetry that once housed a refrigerator and stove in the kitchen; there's no more washer and no dryer in the laundry room. The thieves even pulled out nine boxwood plants in the front yard.
The Bucks County, Pa., couple is trying to remain optimistic as they prepare an inventory of everything stolen for their insurance claim while noting things the burglars left behind.
Of an eight-chair dining room set, only two chairs remain; various paintings and other decorations were also spared.
"The only thing I can figure is they ran out of room," Adinolfi said.
The couple also noted that the burglars were very tidy as they went about their crime.
Instead of dumping items out of the refrigerator and throwing them on the floor, these burglars neatly placed food items in the sink. They carefully disconnected the major appliances and removed them as opposed to ripping them out of the wall.
"In a sick way, they were considerate," Adinolfi said.
Still, the couple has run the gamut of emotions from shock and sadness to an overwhelming sense of violation following the burglary.
"I won't ever be here by myself," Joanne said.
She said she is thankful none of her four grown children, who frequently stay at the vacation home, decided to stop by during the burglary.
"I'm just glad nobody got hurt," she said.
An alarm system will now be working at the home.
"Shame on us. There was an alarm system but it was never connected," Adinolfi said.
Delaware State Police had no information on the burglary before the Cape Gazette's deadline. Adinolfi said he is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in the burglary.