Topeka Habitat for Humanity searches for stolen trailer

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Habitat for Humanity’s tool trailer was stolen from a construction site Friday morning, leaving them with an empty lot, and a $50,000 loss.

The Topeka Habitat for Humanity said in a Facebook post that it needs help finding a trailer that was stolen from one of its job sites in the 2700 block of Buchanan.

Topeka Habitat for Humanity received an unexpected call Friday morning.

“Today, was really disappointing we work really hard to build affordable housing,” CEO of Topeka Habitat for Humanity, Janice Watkins emphasized.

“Actually, at about 3 o’clock this morning our tool trailer that we use at our job site, which contains all of our build site materials, and all of our tools that we use to construct these lovely affordable homes and was stolen from our site,” Watkins continued. “It was well protected from theft but somehow someone manages to get away with it.”

The trailer was in the 2700 block of Southwest Buchanan street.

“We have a house a family living next door and the sound of the theft woke them up and they immediately alerted the police as well as our staff and we were on site within a matter of minutes,” Watkins said.

Topeka Habitat for Humanity CEO Janice Watkins says a neighboring property owner caught surveillance video, “it did show a two-tone dark blue silver or gold Dodge truck. and there was an also a dark-colored Jeep that was involved in this theft as well.”

The organization posted it to social media, where it’s been shared hundreds of times.

“We’ve had multiple community partners reaching out to us to say what can we do to help,” Watkins explained. “We’re looking at local pawnshops. All of our tools are fairly very easily identifiable they have our names on them.”

The tool trailer contains everything the organization uses to build homes.

“From power tools to saws to our safety equipment, to really specific building materials that were using to construct this home as well as the following two homes and it is a devastating loss for the organization,” Watkins said.

“We’re a little baffled as to how even it was stolen it had three-wheel boots, a lever lock, a tongue lock,” Watkins said. “It hasn’t been stolen in 110 builds and so we’re all puzzled as to how it happened.”

Watkins says they’re hoping someone will find it, but they won’t let the theft drive them from their mission.

“One or two bad apples in our community won’t shy us away from doing what we do which is to continue to power through and to build these homes,” Watkins explained. “It’s really nice to see Topeka supporting us, to try to be on the lookout for our trailer for tools. We have a community of supporters and most of all we have habitat families that are reaching out and lending their support.”

The organization says if somebody sees something, please say something.

You’re asked can contact the police department or Topeka Habitat for Humanity.

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