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Lakeview Family Left Feeling Violated And Vulnerable After Burglars Ransack Home And Take Cash, Heirlooms

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's a complete violation – thieves breaking into your home and walking around as if they own it, touching everything in sight.

That sense of having one's space invaded is something a Lakeview couple and their kids have been coping with after they were burglarized this week. As CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reported Monday night, the burglary has changed the family's perspective dramatically.

The Albert family lives close to the Belmont Avenue Red, Brown, and Purple Line station. They value living in the city, and they wanted to raise their kids there. But instead, their kids were there when the family walked into their home to find it ransacked.

"Every day, I'm grateful to live in the city," said Dr. Andrew Albert. "However, this changed that entire impression."

Rachel and Dr. Andrew Albert have been in Lakeview for years. But it feels different as of last Friday, when they came home in the evening with daughter Taliah, 12, and son Gabriel, 9.

"Then I saw the locks splattered on the ground," Gabriel said.

Their back door was busted open, along with nearly every drawer inside.

"They didn't take everything in our house, but they touched everything in our house - our rooms, our office," Rachel Albert said.

Thieves likely looking for cash found it, and they took priceless heirlooms too - including Rachel Albert's grandmother's ring that she hoped to pass down.

"It's not even that valuable, but it's extremely valuable to me," she said.

The family later spotted the three men they believe to be responsible walking out of their back gate carrying a black bag full of things - captured on neighbor's surveillance.

Albert Family Burglary Suspects
(From surveillance video)

The trio was then caught walking back in front of the home before leaving the scene - all of it happening in broad daylight.

The Alberts say the suspects also took things that they couldn't carry out, like their kids' sense of safety.

"Because when people come into your house, you don't feel safe anymore, exactly," said Taliah.

The thieves also took away the Albert family's own ideas about security in their neighborhood.

"The past few years, the increasing crime has just – it's a problem," Rachel Albert said.

Our CBS 2 data team looked at the city's numbers, ranking the top 10 neighborhoods for the most burglaries this year. South Shore and Roseland have the most with 29 each, but Lakeview comes in at number 9.

The Lakeview community had 20 burglaries already this year. It saw 193 of them in 2021.

Becoming one of these statistics motivated the Albert's to share what happened to them.

"I want it to change, and we want to be an active participant in things changing," said Rachel Albert.

This is because assumptions about where crime in Chicago does or doesn't happen just don't hold water anymore.

"Now it's much more painful of an experience to relay to people that perhaps it is a greater issue than I think I gave it credit to before," said Dr. Albert.

The Albert's are working with Chicago Police. They say they do plan to stay in the city - they don't want to go running just because of this incident.

But in addition to getting more involved in calling for change, they're bolstering their home security systems in every way possible.

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