BRADENTON, Fla. - On Monday afternoon, crews locked a Manatee County Habitat for Humanity construction trailer full of tools needed to finish building a home under construction off 6th Street Court East. On Tuesday morning, they found the trailer had been broken into and many tools were stolen.
"We have a lock at the bottom of the door and a padlock here so the only way they could get in was to cut the bar, grab the top of the door and bend it back," Bruce Winter, director of construction explained.
It appears the thieves squeezed inside and stole everything they could cram through the opening.
"This was safety equipment, glasses, knee pads, hearing protection. The big thing is they took most of the power tools, battery-powered tools. We carry quite a few. This is our finish trailer and we have drills, compact drivers, saws and stuff like that," said Winter.
Habitat for Humanity said $11,000 worth of tools were taken. According to Winter, that's about 14% of the cost to build one home.
"Our tools are our lifeblood we need those in order to do the work and it’s difficult," said Winter.
Even worse, their time from finishing the home was stolen.
"Our goal is to partner with families and individuals to improve their life. We all have struggles, we all have challenges, but we are in this community together and this type of action impacts us all when something like this happens," said Diana Shoemaker the CEO and president of Manatee County Habitat for Humanity.
Potentially robbing a mother of two and her children of the new home they'd hope for in time for Christmas.
"They took the opportunity for some family to have a safe home, a secure home for them to celebrate the holidays," said Winter.
Manatee County Habitat for Humanity is asking anyone interested in making a donation to click here or call Diana Shoemaker at 941-748-9100, extension 105.