EL CAJON, Calif. — Police are investigating after a collection of vintage furniture was stolen from a warehouse in El Cajon.
“It’s devastating, it’s heartbreaking is what it is, because it’s a life of work and many years of collecting,” said Melissa Strukel, a designer and owner with We Are Human Kind hospitality group in Jacumba.
Strukel told FOX 5 nearly 100 pieces of vintage and unique furniture were stolen from her warehouse.
“I had an assistant go there last week to take photos of the shelving so that I could do a space plan to move all of the furniture out here to Jacumba and when she showed me the photos, I knew right away that there were empty shelves,” said Strukel.
She says $50,000 worth of furniture is now gone, including many wicker and rattan pieces.
Strukel posted photos of some of the items on social media, in hopes a buyer or someone in the vintage furniture community will spot them.
“If these items are being rented or maybe they’re selling them on Craigslist. They’re very unique pieces that are easily recognizable if you were to see them someplace because there’s not many of them out there,” said Strukel.
Strukel says she began collecting furniture 15 years ago for a rental design studio she started out of her garage.
“I would rent it out and use it to style photo shoots and music videos, things of that nature, and then it just grew into a huge like event design company,” she said.
The designer says she has used warehouse for more than 10 years with no problems, up until the theft. She says only a few people have known what was inside and how to get in.
“These are all people very close to me and so once we sort of discovered that no one has shared any of that information with anyone, then we started looking at other ways that it could have been taken,” said Strukel.
Strukel says El Cajon police are now investigating. Meanwhile, she says she remains hopeful she can find a way to track down her stolen furniture.
“It makes me emotional because I understand that these are just material items, but a lot of time and heart and soul went into collecting them. It’s less about the money and it’s honestly more about the violation,” she said.