BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado Habitat for Humanity group is out more than $2,500 after someone stole specialized tools from one of its construction sites.
The theft happened sometime over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Julie Baxter, Communications and Community Relations Director for Flatirons Habitat for Humanity in Lafayette.
The organization builds homes for families within the Boulder Valley School District.
High-end tools, including an electric saws and nail guns valued at more than $2,500 were stolen from a locked storage shed behind a home that is currently under construction on the 3600 block of Paseo del Prado in Boulder, according to Baxter.
The construction is part of the group’s Wonderland Creek project. Volunteers discovered the items missing when they returned to the site after the holiday.
“They broke into a lock box that contained a key to a storage unit, went into the storage unit, took some specialized construction tools, and ran off with them,” Baxter said. “It’s just so disheartening. We’re trying to do good things for our community. Anyone who lives in this region knows finding affordable housing is a huge issue right now, particularly in Boulder.”
While not debilitating, Baxter says the loss is a setback. Volunteers are working rapidly to complete one of four single-family homes at the project site by the end of the year. The home is intended for a young couple – University of Colorado graduates who are raising three children and struggling to find affordable housing within city limits.
“You’re stealing from families that have put a lot of effort into making a better life for themselves and trying to achieve some stability, which homeownership is proven to provide,” Baxter said.
Flatirons Habitat for Humanity is already fundraising for its next project called King’s Ridge. Money originally intended for that development will have to be put toward the current project to cover the loss, according to Baxter. The insurance deductible is higher than the total loss of the tools, so they’ll have to pay out of pocket to replace the tools.
“Even diverting a little bit from that is just a little discouraging, and frustrating,” she said.
The Wonderland Creek project is intended to serve four families, all with children ranging in age from toddler to 20-something.
While Flatirons Habitat for Humanity has never experienced such a theft, Baxter says the group is committed to remaining positive, and looking forward to Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 6.
“We know that people in our community support us and we’re just going to carry on with that Gives Day spirit.”
To learn more about the group’s upcoming project or donate, visit flatironshabitat.org.