Thieves target prospective Rice University students outside IKEA store

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- High school seniors in town to tour Rice University and see the best Houston has to offer ended up getting a taste of the worst.

"Backpacks were gone, luggage was gone, laptops gone," chaperone Stacie Miranda said.

A group from Louisiana stopped at IKEA only to return to see their rental van broken into, the locks knocked right out of the door.

"Yeah, they cleaned it out," Miranda said. "They left our snacks though, which they must not be hungry, I don't know."

The girls' computers, luggage, and jewelry were all stolen, even their projects and calculus homework.

"Then they all started crying at one time," Miranda said.

Police are investigating, but the group hopes some kind Houstonians might spot this stuff all the way from Albany, Louisiana and return it to them.

The girls say they're not going to hold this against Rice University or Houston.

If there is a silver lining in all of this, the educators chaperoning them still found a way to drive home a lesson.

"I think this was bad, but I think this also in the same token taught them a valuable life lesson that stuff's going to happen and you have to be prepared," Miranda said.

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