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Non-profit rebuilding flood homes hit by thieves

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BATON ROUGE - A non-profit group that helps low-income homeowners stay independent was hit by thieves.

Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge says it's out thousands of dollars in tools and supplies at one of the job sites. When volunteers arrived at work this morning on Delaware Street, they found that their belongings were missing.

"It's unfortunate, very unfortunate," said Rebuilding Together Executive Director Chris Andrews. "They cleaned us out of all of our tools."

A team of volunteers has been working on the green brick house for two months. The house is owned by a flood victim who can't wait to move back home and Andrews says the work is almost complete.

"It was completely flooded," he said.

Andrews says a window was open and there was a crowbar sitting nearby. The back door was also opened from the inside. The lock to their PODS unit and storage trailer were cut with bolt cutters and the contents were missing.

Those missing items include electric drills, saws, battery packs to charge the equipment, ladders, levels, and crowbars.

"In addition to that, they had the temerity to take a toilet out of the house that we had installed," said Andrews.

The person or persons who took the items likely did it between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, when the team of volunteers wasn't working.

It's disheartening to the volunteers. Some of them are taking the time out of their retirement to help others, including the woman who lives in the house on Delaware Street.

"They've hurt her, they've hurt us and probably haven't thought twice about it," said Andrews.

The work must continue, it's why Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge has moved around some equipment from other projects to complete the job so the homeowner can move back in.

The Baton Rouge Police Department is investigating. Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge says it's currently working on a way to replenish the supplies that were lost.

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