Vandals break in, destroy couple’s home, furnishings

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2008

A young Highland Home couple has suffered much at the hands of burglars and vandals recently, but not just one time—two times. Bryan and Kara Sampley and their 11-month-old son were living in a mobile home on Hwy. 331 directly across from Kelley’s Grocery and Market. On Oct. 31, the young couple began staying with her parents after the power was turned off at the mobile home. “That same night, we were robbed,” Kara Sampley said. “My jewelry box was taken along with a few other things, including my husband’s hunting bow.”

Sampley said they didn’t find out about the burglary until they were contacted by the Montgomery Police Department.

“Three black males were caught breaking into a house in Montgomery County, and the police found my jewelry box with them,” she explained. “They located me because my Highland Home School class ring was in the box and it had my name engraved in it.”

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As if that were not enough for the young couple to go through, last Friday morning, Bryan Sampley, 22, opened the front door to a shocking sight. Paint had been splattered everywhere—on the furniture, the walls, the ceiling, the kitchen, the computer—and someone had written on the walls using spray paint.

“Bryan needed to pick up my Nebulizer and a few other things, and we couldn’t believe what he found,” Sampley said. “They had thrown kitchen foods everywhere, laundry detergent and cooking oil were thrown everywhere, and our $1,000 white couch was covered in paint.”

Sampley, 20, had just bought a gallon of paint to redecorate her bathroom; plus, there were four gallons of leftover paint from past redecorating projects that were stored in a bedroom closet.

“They went into the baby’s closet to get the paint, but nothing in the baby’s room was touched,” she said.

Profanity was sprayed in several different places on the walls, along with the word “Obama” with a cross drawn underneath it, and “Obama is the man” written on another wall.

The odd thing is, however, Sampley said an old, abandoned house in Ramer had been broken into and was painted all over in the same way. Law enforcement found three names painted on those walls.

“They even wrote Obama’s name the same way there, misspelling it the same way at both houses,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s someone who knows me. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I don’t get out very much. I’m just wondering if it’s family members or friends of the guys who stole my jewelry—I just don’t know.”

“This has happened twice now, and after the shooting at Mrs. Kelley’s grocery store, I’m just too scared to go back,” Sampley said. “We’re going to try to clean up what we can, but I just don’t know after that.”

The Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incidents.