A family came back from vacation to find their home burglarized, then days later, it happened again.

Michelle Ngo says she and her cousin were the first ones back from their family trip, but when they came home, they were in disbelief.

“The house was trashed,” Michelle Ngo said. “My cousin posted pictures of what the house looked like. It doesn’t do it justice. It was a lot worse.”

Alex Ngo said the amount of mess made in the bedrooms makes him believe more than one person ransacked their home.

“They were just looking for anything and everything — what they can get their hands on, what was valuable, they took it,” he said.

Alex Ngo believes the damage to a bedroom window showed that the suspects tried to go in that way, but couldn’t open it, so they used the bathroom window.

“They had tools over the couch and we think they were planning to come back,” said Michelle Ngo.

Someone did, this time with Alex in the house sleeping. The next morning his keys and car were missing.

“I was on my bed and I heard a clink, but I didn’t think anything of it,” he said.

To make matters worse, his mother suffered a stroke while on vacation and hasn’t been back home.

“When she heard about the first one, she was very emotional. She was crying,” said Alex Ngo. “It’s not good for her health. It can cause another stroke, so when the second one happened, the family was like, ‘Don’t let her know. Don’t let her know.’”

Alex Ngo says the next time they go on a trip, they will have friends and family watch their home.

That’s exactly what a home security expert recommends.

David Holloway, who owns MDH Automation and Security, says it’s very common for burglars to hit the same home twice. A security system is always a good deterrent, but there are other, simpler methods that can go a long way.

“Make sure you forward your mail. Have someone pick up your mail every day,” Holloway advised.

He also suggests someone move your trash bins, water the plants, and open the windows to let fresh air in (make sure they’re locked again before the person leaves).

Holloway said whoever is watching your home should make it look like someone has been there all day.

“I will go to friends’ homes and move the trash bins, just to give the house a different appearance when people drive by, so that there’s activity,” said Holloway. “I know it takes effort, but it’s effort well spent.”

Holloway said if burglars find a set of keys the first time they break in, they will most likely come back and use them. So if you find your keys missing, make sure you change your locks right away.

We also reached out to the Honolulu Police Department and a spokeswoman said no arrests have been made in this case.

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