String of crimes raises concerns about Habitat for Humanity home

Habitat for Humanity crimes
Published: Apr. 24, 2012 at 5:43 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2012 at 6:27 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's quiet right now. The home at 128 Bank Street is a Habitat for Humanity home, and four times in just over year, the organization faced break-ins, theft, and even an attack last week.

"It's very disheartening for us," said Brian Kingsnorth, Construction Superintendent. "We're trying our best to do what we can for the neighborhood and that stuff is happening to us all the time."

It happened twice, last April and May, during the early stages of construction, break-ins, and at least one theft of copper. And then again, last August, the side door kicked in as well as a closet wall, just to steal around 40 dollars worth of copper.

"We just find it disheartening that we're trying to do good and people seem to be trying to slow us down," said Kingsnorth.

And just last week, someone kicked in the side door yet again, but this time a worker passing by stopped to check on the home. When he entered, two individuals brutally attacked him. According to the worker, a man stabbed him and then a woman knocked him unconscious by hitting him over the head with a baseboard. They took his wallet and fled the scene.

This home was just weeks away from being turned over to the homeowner. But now repairs have to be made from the break-in, so that process will take longer.

These homes are being built under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, in efforts to do just that, provide stability in neighborhoods in need. But Kingsnorth says building in this area is a difficult process.

"All the houses we've built under this program have been broken into at least once," said Kingsnorth.

Last week's attack has really taken its toll on the Habitat workers. Policies are now different and the homes are now monitored, something Kingsnorth said it never should have come to.

"We're really just trying to get over how we feel and how demoralizing it is for us," said Kingsnorth. "Funding is hard to come by and we can't afford to keep paying out of our own pocket to repair damage that's done by people who have no respect for other people's property."  

Last week's attack at the home is still under investigation. The worker described his attackers as a black male around six feet tall, in his forties, with no front teeth and a black female in her thirties or forties, around five feet tall with braids in her hair. If you have any information regarding the incident contact Lake Charles City Police.

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