Stephanie Gunia was having one of those “I never could get the hang of Thursday” kind of days when she came home to her apartment. She thought it was odd that her doormat was gone. When she turned the key in the lock and swung open the door, everything else was gone too. It had been a really rough week and that was the last straw.
Apartment was empty
La Vista, Nebraska, isn’t considered a high crime neighborhood. That’s one of the reasons Gunia and her kids moved in to their new apartment, only a week before. Just when she was beginning to get used to what was put away where, “someone else helped her move out on accident.”
That’s not a fun thing to discover when you bring the family home at the end of a grueling day of work. “I knew something was wrong right when I walked in the door,” she relates. Besides moving, she put in a full 50 hours on her job. With three children in tow, Stephanie was “ready to relax at home.” That wasn’t going to happen.
“We walked in and there was nothing in our apartment except for a mattress.” These thieves were really thorough. “My kids’ stuff was gone, their clothes, everything.” In panic, she called the management office.
They told her call 911 because she’d been burglarized. They lied. It took the cops to solve the mystery.
The first things detectives noticed was that there was no sign of forced entry to the apartment. “The officer looked, all the windows were locked, the front door was locked,” Gunia relates.
One of the neighbors had noticed “he’d seen people moving things out of her place and into the trash.” That’s where it was alright. “Our stuff was in five of the seven dumpsters.” Wonderful welcome to the neighborhood, eh?
beer and trash ‘gooze’
Only the day before, Ms. Gunia had shelled out enormously inflated prices for a fridge full of groceries. “all that food is ruined,” she sobs. Her food “was mixed in with the toys, and there was like beer and trash ‘gooze‘ all over my kids’ stuff, our clothes.”
With her scared and crying kids, the distraught mom had no idea “why somebody threw their stuff away in a trash can.” Then it occurred to her to ask the staff at the apartment complex. They had to know more than they were telling. They did.
Oops, our mistake, the complex manager soon confessed, when confronted by angry police officers. “They said they got the wrong apartment. They cleaned out the wrong apartment,” Gunia explains.
La Vista police wrote down in their report that “the complex hired a company” to clear out an abandoned suite but “movers hit Gunia’s unit instead.” They weren’t directly at fault but it’s still a case of guilt by association.
Richdale, which manages Inwood Village, apologized in a statement. “We are working with a resident who had some of her possessions mistakenly placed in a dumpster prior to the completion of her moving into her apartment.”
They aren’t sure but they think “almost all of her possessions were retrieved.” They assure the family that they’ll replace any missing items and handed over a $250.00 gift card for the inconvenience. As Gunia said, “it’s a start but money won’t fix how her kids feel.“