By Sue Potter, Director of Development
Sometime overnight on Tuesday, March 14, thieves cut through the chains securing a Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat job site located at 1102 South Shirley Street in Tacoma. The development called Founders Circle will soon be home to six low income families who have partnered with Habitat to purchase a simple, decent and affordable home with a zero interest mortgage.
Gomer Roseman, Director of Site Development and Construction for Tacoma Habitat estimates that over $10,000 worth of aluminum scaffolding planks as well as copper wire, plumbing fittings, equipment and tools were taken. According to Roseman, “The thieves must have been quiet since other neighbors are close by and heard nothing. They had to break through the securely locked gate and proceed to dismantle the scaffolding which had been surrounding the homes.” The scaffolding, which had been recently donated by the Employees Community Fund of Boeing, is essential to Habitat’s work by providing a safe means for volunteers to work on roofing and second floor construction. Without scaffolding, construction on the six homes will now be delayed as Habitat looks to borrow the equipment until the stolen items are returned or replaced.
“These thieves knew exactly what they were looking for,” says Roseman. “They stole metals that can be sold to recyclers. Thieves also kicked in the back door of one home. Thankfully there was no equipment, appliances or tools in the structure.”
“This is so sad. Our work is supported by so many donors and volunteers who have generously given of their time, talents and treasures to make homeownership possible for our families. The families themselves have worked so hard to get to this place. To put up another barrier to their security is heartbreaking,” said Maureen Fife, CEO of Tacoma Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.
Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity is now reviewing what more they can do to secure their job site, including adding an on-site security guard to the Shirley Street location. They have also contacted area recyclers asking for their help to recover stolen items and to identify the thieves. Tacoma Police Department is investigating, but there is little hope that the equipment will be recovered.
If you have information about this crime, please contact the Tacoma-Pierce County Crimestoppers at: 253-591-5959.
If there is a construction company who would be willing to loan Habitat the use of scaffolding, please contact Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity at 253-627-5626.