Tool theft at Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity Niagara got hit again, this time with thieves breaking into its construction trailer that was parked behind the Fonthill ReStore located on Highway 20. The trailer held all of the tools needed for Habitat’s home building projects, with the majority of the tools to be used by for skills training by students of the Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAMB) Building Futures Indigenous Youth program. The break-in was discovered this morning when the Fonthill ReStore staff opened the store for business.

The thieves cut the lock and helped themselves to every tool Habitat Niagara had for its build program, resulting in a loss of $14,000 in equipment. Habitat Niagara is scheduled to start to build a home on Fourth Avenue in Niagara Falls this weekend.

“I just loaded the trailer yesterday with everything needed for our first build day this Saturday,” said Trevor Dunscombe, Habitat Niagara’s Jobsite Coordinator and Indigenous youth instructor. “The trailer was full and ready to go for our main floor framing day. I am in shock that people would do this to a charity.”

Ironically, Trevor started with Habitat Niagara as a volunteer three years ago, after hearing about Habitat’s build trailer being broken into at a job site in Fort Erie. In a strange coincidence, that theft was discovered on September 26, 2016. Now, three years to the day, Habitat Niagara is once again a victim of theft, despite the security measures that have been put in place after the last incident.

All of the tools are identifiable, as each is labelled with an upper case ‘BF’ spray-painted with orange paint. As well, the handheld tools have a small strip of orange paint etched into the battery with ‘HN-‘ and a sequence of numbers on the underside of the batteries.

Habitat for Humanity Niagara is asking the public to keep an eye out for anyone trying to sell these tools and to call the police if they have any information.