WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- While many were giving thanks and spending quality time with family, a few bad apples were ruining the holiday cheer for some in New Hanover County.
Rebecca Gougis was visiting family in Tennessee for the first time in six years for Thanksgiving. When she returned to Wilmington, she found her house had been completely ransacked. Thieves made off with jewelry and electronics and tore through the house leaving a trail of destruction.
Wilmington Police and the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office say they did not see spike in break-ins over Thanksgiving. Law enforcement, though, says during the holidays, it is not uncommon for the amount of break-ins to rise.
Gougis says even though her valuables were taken, what she is really thankful for this year is the fact that she was not home when thieves broke in.
"It's just stuff," she said. "You can always get more stuff, but you can't get your life back. And I'm just glad I wasn't here, because things could have been a lot worse."
Gougis says there's at least $12,500 worth of damage and stolen goods.