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Winona woman discovers home invaders playing dress up

Playing dress-up is supposed to be cute, unless you bust through a window to do it.

Playing dress-up is supposed to be cute, unless you bust through a window to do it.

Moving days are stressful enough as it is. But the whole ordeal took a turn for the bizarre for one Winona woman this week, when she came back to her mostly-empty home and face-to-face with two intruders.

It could have been a really bad scene. Instead, it turned out to be the oddest game of dress-up ever played.

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It was getting on into the evening when the owner of the home returned, and she did not apparently notice that a storm window was missing from a window into the living room. She walked into her first floor bedroom and was shocked to find two strangers there: A skinny teenage boy, his blond hair topped with a baseball cap, and a thin young woman, her long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail.

What was even stranger, however, was how the girl was dressed -- in a bunch of the homeowner's clothes and jewelry, pulled on over the shorts and swim suit top she had on underneath. It appeared that the girl was modeling the look for her companion.

The homeowner was then forced to say what must be one of the strangest things anyone has ever said to a home invader.

"She told her to take them off," says Winona Police chief Paul Bostrack. "It probably came off pretty quick."

After ripping off the clothes and tossing the jewelry, the boy and girl made a bee-line for the front door, with the homeowner chasing after them. She lost them not long after, and called the police. So far they haven't found the pair. Police estimate the kids were between 16 and 18, and the homeowner is quite certain she'll recognize them if they ever turn up again.

So the question remains -- what was this crime? Late-summer romance and a mischievous whim gone awry? Or a couple of very choosy burglars?

"Who knows?" sighs Bostrack. "It sounds like at least the property she saw them with was left there. We'll continue to look for them."