Community Raises Thousands After Burglars Target Teachers' Home: 'It Is Energizing Us'

Teachers Karen Pollard and Rick Gott were on a school trip when they learned their home had been robbed

<p>Gofundme</p> Karen Pollard and Rick Gott.


Karen Pollard and Rick Gott.

A California community is pitching in to help a couple whose home was robbed when they were away on a school trip.

In an interview with ABC affiliate KXTV, longtime teachers Karen Pollard and Rick Gott of Natomas said that they were on a three-day trip with 40 students at a Shakespeare festival in Ashland, Oregon. During that excursion, a neighbor called the couple to notify them that their home was burglarized.

According to Pollard, the burglars, who struck the home on Oct. 8, made off with such items as clothes, electronics and Gott’s two guitars. “That doesn't include the teacups, it doesn't include the tax returns, all of our identity stuff,” she told the station. “There's no value on that, but my seven-page list is over $25,000.”

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“There are empty spaces in your house that you don’t recognize and like what was there. 'Oh the printer,' and little by little you start realizing, this is major,” Gott told NBC affiliate KCRA.

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Sacramento Police said in an email to PEOPLE on Thursday that officers were notified about the burglary on Oct. 8. Officers responded, conducted an investigation, and a report was made, they added. The department shared that the case has been forwarded to burglary detectives.

“This remains an active investigation. No arrests have been made at this time,” said Sacramento Police.”

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According to the couple, homeowner insurance won’t cover much of what was lost in the robbery, per KXTV. “It was devastating: the things I can never replace,” Pollard told KCRA. “The losses. The grief over this is daily because we keep reaching for things that aren’t there.”

Gott and Pollard teach at the Natomas Charter School, where their co-worker Sarah Winter set up GoFundMe to help the couple. As of Thursday afternoon, over $9,400 had been raised.

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“Rick and Karen are pillars of the community and have selflessly dedicated over 25 years of their life to their students, their colleagues and friends, and their Natomas community,” Winter wrote in the fundraiser description. “It's heartwarming to see the community come together to support Rick and Karen during this difficult time. In situations like these, the power of community support can make a significant difference. This is just one small way we can give back to them everything they have done for others.”

In response to the overwhelming support, the couple said in a statement to PEOPLE on Friday, "This was a devastating, life-altering crime and the loss involved continues to surprise us every day. But the outpouring of love and generosity we are receiving from our community is far outweighing the sadness we are experiencing. Our colleagues and community have lifted us up and it is energizing us and giving us so much joy. We know we will be just fine."

Meanwhile, Sacramento Police is asking witnesses with information related to the case to contact the department’s dispatch center at (916) 808-5471 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP. 

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