COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity had a furnace stolen from a construction site in broad daylight on Sunday.
Iain Probert, Director of Strategic Partnerships with Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity, says he believes whoever took the furnace was experienced. The furnace, along with much of the fitting and piping, was stolen.
“One thing if the furnace was still in its box, but it was actually installed into the house,” says Probert.
Probert adds, these criminals don’t know how much of an impact they make — for the worst.
“It effects everybody. For a for-profit builder, it effects their bottom line. Their employees, it raises home prices. In our case, it effects our future homeowners who are struggling, as is.”
Lohmiller and Company, who originally donated the furnace to Habitat for Humanity quickly replaced it.
Staffers from the Habitat for Humanity say theft isn't a rare occurrence but they were shocked to see the incident happen in the middle of the afternoon.
“The donors, the installers installed [the furnace] on a Sunday in their own time. A couple of hours later, the thieves broke into the locked home and ripped out the furnace,” explains Probert.
Habitat for Humanity relies heavily on donations to build affordable homes in the community. Around 90% of each house is constructed by volunteers and 18% of donations contribute per house.
Due to COVID-19, Habitat for Humanity is having a hard time finding construction materials. Plus, prices for materials are expensive - causing stress for residential and commercial builders.
Two years ago, Habitat for Humanity reported $160,000 on average in construction costs per house. As of Tuesday morning, the nonprofit organization is up to $240,000.
Habitat for Humanity says they are grateful for Lohmiller and Company for donating a second furnace because insurance doesn't cover the cost to replace another one.
Colorado Springs Police is investigating.