Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thieves Steal from our La Fortuna, Renton Site

Thieves Steal Tools from Habitat for Humanity Construction Site

Renton, WA. December 7, 2011– Habitat for Humanity of East King County reported another burglary at their La Fortuna construction site located in the Cascade neighborhood of Renton last week.

“Thieves came prepared this time,” said Mike Hammerquist, Renton Site Supervisor for Habitat EKC. 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.”

It may not seem like a lot, but to Habitat staff, volunteers and homeowners, having these tools available on a regular basis make it possible for Habitat to continue with their building schedule.  Executive Director Tom Granger commented, “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.”

Habitat staff is scrambling to replace the needed tools to keep construction moving along on the two multi-family buildings under construction at this site in Renton, called La Fortuna.  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 so they can continue to use their funds to build affordable homes .

More About Habitat for Humanity International: Habitat for Humanity surpassed its 500,000 house milestone during its most recent fiscal year. Since the nonprofit was founded in 1976, its self-help, hand-up model has resulted in rehabbed, repaired or new housing for more than 2 million people worldwide. Habitat EKC is part of this global effort.

Since 1988, Habitat EKC has built 111 new homes and rehabbed or repaired other houses for low income families in our community. The East King County service area incorporates the regions east of Lake Washington.  The goal of this affiliate is to make it possible for low-income residents of King County to be able to purchase simple, decent, and affordable homes on the Eastside. The families who will move into these homes will put in 500 hours of their own labor as a down payment towards homeownership. Visit to learn more.

Media Contact: Gena Guillen, Special Events and Communications Officer
email: or call 425.869.6007

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