Thieves take $4,000 worth of tools from Habitat for Humanity Renton site

Habitat for Humanity of East King County reported another burglary at its La Fortuna construction site in the Cascade neighborhood of Renton last week.

"Thieves came prepared this time," said Mike Hammerquist, Renton site supervisor for Habitat EKC, said in a press release. They entered the property by cutting the padlock on the gate and then drilled through the lock on the storage container.

Missing were three circular saws, four coil siding nail guns, two framing nail guns, a drill, a reciprocating saw, a jig saw, an angle grinder, several heavy-duty power cords, and spools of copper wire, all of which is valued at nearly $4,000.

"It has taken several years to build up our tool supply," said Kristina Struve, assistant site supervisor for Habitat EKC. "This is a big hit to productivity since we are currently installing siding on one of our buildings and now have to nail it up by hand. We also now have a shortage of power cords, which makes it difficult to run the site efficiently."

Having these tools available on a regular basis make it possible for Habitat staff and volunteers to continue with their building schedule, according to the news release.

"We really don't expect to be the target of theft based on the work we are doing in the community. Since this is the second incident this year, it looks like we will need a security system in addition to replacing the tools. That could be another $4,000 or more. It is a shame to have to divert those funds from the building program," said Executive Director Tom Granger.

Habitat staff is trying to replace the needed tools to keep construction moving along on the two multi-family buildings under construction at this site. One Habitat for Humanity homeowner responded by bringing in a few tools she had and donating them so volunteers could continue working.Almost 100 community volunteers, AmeriCorps members and families earning sweat equity work on this jobsite every week.

Habitat EKC has inventoried their tools and filed an incident report with the Renton Police Department. They are hoping whoever took the tools will return them.


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