Benton County woman's home burglarized - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton County woman's home burglarized while hospitalized on vacation

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BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- Imagine going on vacation, ending up in the hospital, and coming home to a burglarized home. That is the harsh reality Heidi Harvey, a single mother of three from Benton County is dealing with.

Harvey says while away in California, she checked into a hospital on Facebook, and police say that could have given thieves the invite to come ransack her home. "It could be somebody you know. it could be a friend five steps removed from one of you children or one of your neighbors, somebody you've never met before but has access to that information," warns Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb of posting that type of information on the Internet.

Harvey estimates the thieves took more than $40,000 worth of things, including eight thousand dollars cash she is using for financial aid to get through nursing school at WSU Tri-Cities.

"I graduate this December, and when I borrow money I use only what I absolutely have to. And its just gone," she says. On top of everything else, the thieves targeted electronics, play station, TV's, DVD players, camcorders. She also thinks it may have been teenagers because things like nail polish and flat irons were taken. "They took all my teenagers clothes. They took our bedding. They took our linens,.they took our shampoo our soap," says Harvey.

Harvey made the disturbing discovery when she arrived back home on Tuesday of last week. Today, her home is full of donations from WSU students and staff as well as her co-workers at Kia Ora Fitness. Everything from televisions to computers to food and even school books and school clothes for her son.

"And you just don't realize what kind of community you live in until something like this happens," she says through tears. Harvey says she misses the sentimental stuff the most, like pictures of her family, and her grandmother's ring.