A Travis County couple is offering a $20,000 reward for information after thieves cut open the safe in their home while they were out of town. They got away with more than $200,000 in guns, coins, cash and priceless family heirlooms.
Joe Lohmeier and his girlfriend Kelsey Majors returned Sunday from Mexico where they had been for several days.
"I noticed leaves, dirt and a smoke detector in the middle of the floor," said Lohmeier recalling that evening. Two hours passed before they realized what had happened. Their home was not ransacked and didn't appear to have been broken into.
"I couldn't process why these things were in here," he said after seeing what should have been in the safe closet in a spare bedroom.
That's when Lohmeier opened the door where his safe his.
"Our heart just sank," said Lohmeier who yelled up for Kelsey.
"It was just shock," said Majors.
"The safe was sideways and it had been diamond bladed and there were guns and coins on the floor," said Lohmeier describing the damage. The thieves took 45 guns, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, coins Lohmeier collected with his father, cash, jewelry belonging to Kelsey's great grandmother and the engagement ring he planned to give her.
"They said they've never seen anything like this. The way the job was done they felt you would have to have numerous people involved," said Lohmeier about what detectives told him.
The burglars likely spent several hours working their way into the safe.
"He said this was like a professional job," he said.
"I was obviously very disappointed to lose something like that it was almost 100 years old and in our family," said Majors.
"Those family heirlooms are priceless to us," said Lohmeier.
Serial numbers for a majority of the guns have been given over to the authorities. What's puzzling to Lohmeier is the burglars used the couple's dolly and extension cord. There were no obvious signs of a break-in but the couple did come back to several unlocked windows.
"Either way someone had to have known we were gone," he said.
While detectives work the case the couple is offering a $20,000 reward in hopes they may be reunited with what is irreplaceable.
"That's the most important thing if someone just has the character and the morality to do the right thing," Lohmeier said.