Work halted after tools worth thousands were stolen from Habitat for Humanity site

7:56 PM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Workers were ready to begin construction on a new home for a needy family, when a thief made off with nearly $3,000 worth of tools.

For now, construction on the Habitat for Humanity home on Frienza Avenue in Del Paso Heights is on hold, and the longer it takes to get built, the longer a family will have to wait for a roof over their heads.

To the thief, or thieves, who the tools and a new generator, worth more than $2,000, it didn't matter that the equipment was in the service of charity.

Kendra Johnson lives nearby and said burglaries are common in the neighborhood. She'd hoped the new home would drive away some of the squatters in the old rundown place and bring in a new family, with fresh hope and new dreams of a better future.

"We need something different inside this neighborhood. It's a lot of crackheads, dope fiends, people who use drugs around here, so that's who comes and breaks inside people's houses," Johnson said.

"They waited 'til the staff had left for the evening and managed to get in through a fence and then into the tool shed," Habitat For Humanity's Taud Bagwill explained.

The nonprofit is already struggling to raise money to build their homes; having to replace critical equipment is a major setback that has a ripple effect on the families they serve.

"Supervisors have to be bringing their own tools a lot of times because this keeps happening, so we're working with a limited tool supply to begin with," Bagwill said.

Still, the home will be built, offering new hope for another family and another neighborhood.

"It's the neighborhood. You know, we have to change our community. We have to change our neighborhood," Johnson said.

Habitat For Humanity said they're not sure how long it will take before they can start back to work at the site, but they said it will take two to three weeks, if not longer, to replace the stolen tools.


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