MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A couple living in an historic mansion in Memphis's medical district said it came home recently to find the home ransacked and burglarized.
Victoria and Michael Cruickshank live in the Lowenstein Mansion on Jefferson Avenue.
They said they bought the home about 12 years ago to restore it to its previous grandeur.
They'd been out of town for an extended period when they got back from the airport December 2.
"I saw three lights on, and I got scared," Victoria Cruickshank said.
She said they called police before going inside. But what they found left them feeling violated.
“They stole our refrigerator, and they stole our stove and our washing machine as well," she said.
Cruickshank said they believe a couple lived in their home while they were gone.
According to a police report, the burglars took nearly $300,000 worth of jewelry, antiques and art, including pieces from as far away as Burma and Thailand.
“We’re just in a state of shock everyday. It’s a huge loss. For those of you who collect, a word to the wise: Be careful if you love your collections,” she said.
She said she had planned to donate her collection to the city to create a museum.
Instead, they’re moving.
“The end of our lives shouldn’t be this way. I’m going to clean it and list the house,” she said.
The Cruickshanks asked people to look out for porcelain, gold and crystal antiques.
They said they're offering a reward for the stolen items.