Thieves targeting habitat for humanity impact home building mission

Posted at 3:45 PM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 17:45:14-04

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    Stockton, CA (KOVR ) — Thieves were caught on camera stealing from a local non-profit that serves low-income families in the San Joaquin area.

The Habitat for Humanity Group in Stockton said over the last several months they’ve become a target, losing thousands of dollars in materials.

Surveillance video from a recent incident shows thieves carrying out case after case of tiles through a fence.

“It was cases of tile in a box, a full pallet, nice new tile,” said Executive Director Ted Van Alen.

The Habitat for Humanity discount store in Stockton relies on re-selling donated materials in order to fund the building of homes for low-income families.

“It’s added up the thousands, for every dollar that’s one less thing we can put in the home, one less thing we can buy,” said Van Alen.

Van Alen said everything from tile to cabinets, doors, doorknobs, faucets, even tools are being stolen.

“That’s one less window, less wood, less pallet because lack of funds,” he said.

Renee Hill is a single mother of three and one of the lucky recipients of a brand new home build through the nonprofit’s program.

“It’s horrible that people are doing that, cause they help families all around our community such as my family,” said Hill. “We were struggling, so I’m grateful that Habitat For Humanity has helped us along the way.”

As required through the program, Hill has put in the hundreds of hours of love and sweat to help build her home.

“It’s gonna be really exciting for me and my family, it’s truly a blessing,” said Hill.

For Hill and her kids, the new home is their foundation, but she’s worried if the thefts continue, other families in her community who are in need won’t be as fortunate as her.

“You’re not impacting a store, you’re impacting the people we serve,” said Van Alen.

Since these incidents started the store has added cameras and new locks. The group is asking for the public’s help in identifying the people responsible. But Van Alen says no matter what- he’s hopeful their mission will continue.

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