Thieves strip Cleveland Habitat for Humanity delivery truck, police follow up on leads

Delivery truck critical to helping the needy

CLEVELAND - It's an incident that once again proves there is no sense of common decency among thieves. A group of vandals stripped down a 2012 GMC box truck used by Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.

The truck was victimized in the early morning hours on Monday. The truck was left propped up by cinder blocks in Habitat's West 110th Street parking lot.

The thieves appeared to know exactly what they wanted, stealing the trucks wheels, doors, bumper, grill, seats and radiator.

"Can you imagine someone who would steal from Habitat for Humanity? What's next? Stealing from a church or a school?" said habitat director John Habat. "These thieves have no limit. They see an opportunity to make a few bucks and we got hit this time."

The truck is used at Habitat's Cleveland Restore to pick up and deliver donated household items. The Restore is critical to habitat's fund raising effort, funds that are later used to create housing for low-income families.

Habitat construction director Rob Grimm explained how the Habitat Restore has been extremely successful in selling donated items, merchandise that is sold a huge discount, compared to buying new.

"We sell anything that is household related, from furniture to appliances,doors, windows, even furnaces and hot water tanks," Grimm said.  "We have 35,000 square feet under roof, our hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 4."

Investigators are exploring several leads as they search for the vandals, anyone with information is being asked to contact Cleveland police.

Meanwhile, Habat had a message for the thieves who remain on the run.

"I hope you're never in need of an organization like us," said Habat. "Maybe you'll understand how you've impacted our ability to help others."

NewsChannel5's Building Better Neighborhoods has teamed up with Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity to renovate 10 vacant homes for needy families this spring and summer.

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