Thieves Target Habitat For Humanity

There's no place like a new home for the holidays.

Moving day finally arrived for two families, who moved into their North Angeline Street homes Friday morning.  The homes were built by Habitat for Humanity.

Jack Wilson, chief operating officer for Habitat said at least 30,000 people in Tyler alone could possibly qualify to live in one of their homes.  "The need is here, but we need our tools," he said.

Those tools help build neighborhoods.

"It hurt," said Diane Hubbard, a Habitat project manager.  "How could you steal from Habitat?"

The storage bin was moved from house to house, full of newly donated tools.

Eventually, nine homes were erected in the neighborhood over a year's time.

"We lost just about everything we have--all of our drills, framing nails, compressor, saws," said Hubbard.

The construction manager told us all the thieves left behind was a metal bar.

A neighbor heard a noise, turned a light on, and the thieves took off in a white pick-up.

"We could have lost a lot more.  It really set us behind," said Wilson.

But Habitat employees say they can't stop.  Two homes were completed and closed Friday morning.  They said more homes for more families will be built starting early next year.

They're down, but not out.  "There's a lot of work for us to do," said Wilson

Habitat representatives said there was a lock on the storage bin.  It appeared it had been cut.

The incident is being investigated by the Tyler Police Department.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.