Habitat for Humanity NL estimates the value of the tools and equipment to be over $5,600.
“We are deeply disappointed and shocked that someone would commit such an upsetting act, particularly towards a charitable organization that helps families build stability and security through an affordable home-ownership model,” said Sandra Whiffen, executive director for Habitat for Humanity, Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We are hopeful that the items taken will be recovered. We thank the community for working with us to help correct this wrongdoing.”
Habitat for Humanity is a charitable organization that assists low-income families to achieve home ownership.
The tools were stored at a construction site of three new Habitat for Humanity homes. Three families await their completion.
Habitat’s build supervisor Andrew Barrett was on the site working alone Wednesday. It was supposed to be a build day — with seven or more volunteers — but it had to be cancelled due to the lack of tools.
He said he doesn’t know how many build days will have to be cancelled or when or how they will be able to replace the stolen tools.
“It’s just terrible. We are a charity building homes for low-income families,” he said.
In addition, Barrett said, the tool trailers at the site are clearly marked as a Habitat for Humanity construction site, so the person or persons responsible had to know they were stealing from a charity that builds homes for low-income people.
Whiffen said the tools were also being used at another Habitat for Humanity project that is ongoing in St. John’s, so it has set back that site as well. She said families have to put a certain amount of sweat equity into the homes and, without the build days going ahead, that greatly affects them.
“We can’t schedule any build days until we get the tools back or replacement tools, so we can only do some siding right now because all the major tools are gone, including saws, drills, grinders,” she said. “It has set us back and the families, too, because they are working on their sweat equity and that delays them.
“We also used the tools for the build on McNeil Street (in St. John’s) as well, so that has set us back on both builds.”
The RNC is investigating the theft, which was reported by a C.B.S. resident who was walking her dog on Sunday and noticed the door ajar and the lock cut on the trailer.
An RNC news release stated officers responded to the report of the theft about 3 p.m. Sunday.
“A secured tool storage unit at a Habitat for Humanity build site on Chateau Avenue in C.B.S. had been broken into. Police noted that the lock had been cut off and the door was open when they arrived,” the RNC stated. “Upon further investigation, it has been determined that over 40 tools were taken from the site having a value of more than $5,600. It is believed that the break-in occurred sometime between 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Investigators are interested in speaking with anybody who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in that area during that time.
Additionally, the RNC has released a list with some of the tools that were stolen along with serial numbers. The RNC reminds the public that possession of stolen property is a criminal offence.
Anyone with information on this break and entry is asked to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Information can be provided anonymously on the NL Crime Stoppers website at www.nlcrimestoppers.com.