CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Two snowbirds vow never to come back to Cape Coral again after their dream of a tropical lifestyle was shattered. They found out in August their condo in paradise was burglarized, and all their furnishings and personalized decorations were cleared out.
"It just looked empty, like when we first bought it," Susan Waldhauser described.
Susan and her husband George Waldhauser came back from Maryland, only to find their beloved Bellagio Gardens condo in shambles. Crooks took everything from a flat-screen T.V. and furniture to bedsheets and pictures.
"Someplace, somebody is sitting in our living room. With all the colors, patterns and fabrics that Susan agonized over," George Waldhauser said Monday.
The Waldhausers spent four years transforming the condo into their tropical get-away, even nick-naming the place, complete with monogramming on their terry-cloth robes.
"It says Balmy Breezes, Sunny Days," George Waldhauser said.
Then suddenly, they found themselves talking about walking away from their dream.
"I was ready to call it quits. I told Susan, I'm done with Cape Coral," Waldhauser said.
But they decided not to let the thieves beat them, so they're re-purchasing the $20,000 worth of possessions they'll most likely never get back. Despite the heartache, the Waldhausers say they just can't put the Cape in their rear view mirror.
"Once you get over that bridge, it seems like the weight of the world is lifted off your shoulders. We feel so comfortable. And like I told Susan, once you cross that bridge, it's like you're in a different world," George Waldhauser said.
Cape Coral Police Department investigated the August burglary, but no arrests have been made at this point in time.