Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2003 11:58 UK

Thieves steal family's entire home

The owners' log cabin [pic: Mountain Democrat newspaper]
The cabin was the family's holiday home [pic courtesy Mountain Democrat newspaper]
A family in the US state of California has had their entire home stolen by thieves.

The cabin, measuring about 10 feet by 20 feet (three metres by six metres), would have taken at least a day to dismantle and remove from the land, authorities said.

The thieves even took a 2,600-gallon (9,850-litre) water tank.

Now all that remains on the property is a tool shed and pads where the house once stood, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The loss of personal items alone comes to more than $20,000, the family said.

"This was a family retreat, a dream. Then someone comes along and puts a big dent in it," retired engineer BJ Miller told local newspaper the Mountain Democrat.

Mr Miller bought the 40 acres of land in El Dorado county, on which the cabin was built, with his wife three years ago.

They had built the cabin as a small holiday home for the summer and had planned to build further houses for their children and grandchildren, Mr Miller told the paper.

Their neighbours expressed shock at the robbery.

"It gets me that they got by me," Laurel Fulton told local media.

"I should have noticed a big truck going by with a big house in the back."

The family is offering a $2,000 reward for any information that leads to their property being recovered.

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