Police probe stolen Habitat for Humanity tools

 

DOVER — A Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity construction trailer was burglarized overnight for the second time in two weeks, but the nonprofit’s leadership said Thursday that its homebuilding mission for the needy remains undaunted.

A CDHH site supervisor arrived at 21 N. Kirkwood Avenue on Wednesday morning and found a trailer lock had been damaged and construction equipment — drills, saws, nailers and a level — swiped.

CDHH, which arrived in Kent County in 1990, still plans to build seven homes this year.

“I don’t think it will slow us down,” said CDHH Development Director Chris Cooper, who estimated the property loss between $2,000 and $2,500.

“It didn’t slow us down the day of the discovery. We’ll have to raise funds to replace equipment, but the work will continue as planned.”

A call to Dover Police brought a swift response, Mr. Cooper said, as investigation began immediately.

“We reported it and they were here quick,” he said. “We have a good relationship with the city and the police force and gave them as much assistance as we could.

“They went to work dusting for fingerprints and investigating. Now we need to let them do their job and hope they get the bottom of this.”

A Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity trailer was burglarized overnight Wednesday in Dover after a lock was broken to gain entry. (Submitted photo/CDHH)

The recent crimes in quick succession didn’t make Mr. Cooper uneasy about the downtown Dover site. In three years in the city, he said the CDHH had never been victimized before.

“No I don’t feel unsafe at our sites,” he said. “We’ve had two crimes in two weeks, but we’ve also had two crimes in three years.”

Two weeks ago, ladders were taken from the North Kirkwood Avenue site. Mr. Cooper said he knew of only one other previous burglary which came at a Sussex County location.

Shortly after the burglary, CDHH posted information on the crime and offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspects. The nonprofit will give a tipster four tickets to the Blackjack to Build event on Sept. 16, a $240 value.

The Facebook post had 400 shares soon after it was published.

“The community has really stepped up,” he said.

CDHH plans continues hold a “Framing Frenzy” on June 16, when members and over 60 AmeriCorps members will begin work on a home on Legislative Mall from 9 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. The structure will be moved to a plot on North New Street where a family will reside in its new home.

On Facebook, the CDHH detailed the stolen items:

•Makita and Hitachi Skill saws, two Senco Stick Nailers, two Hitachi Stick Nailers, a 12-inch Dewalt Miter Saw/Slider, one Milwaukee Sawsall, three Hitachi Cordless Drills, one Bostich Teco Nailer, one Milwaukee Hammer Drill, one four-foot black Stabila Level (black) and one four foot yellow Stanley Level.

Investigation is ongoing and anyone with information can contact the Dover Police Department at 736-7130. Callers may remain anonymous. Tips can also be submitted to law enforcement through tip lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at www.tipsubmit.com or through the Dover PD MyPD Mobile App.

CDHH said it has built and/or renovated 52 homes, housing over 200 adults and children throughout Kent County since its inception 27 years ago.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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