Cocoa Habitat for Humanity home construction site burglarized

- Bruce Challander and his team of Habitat for Humanity builders were stunned when they learned someone broke into their latest construction site.

“The stuff that was stolen was all of the cabinetry for this,” Challander explained, “the cabinets were all assembled and ready for us to put up there, and they disappeared.”

The break-in happened sometime last Wednesday night. Challander says the thief or thieves busted-open the back door and grabbed the goods, valued between three and five thousand dollars. Then, they got away in a vehicle they parked in the back yard.

“That's a significant amount of money for an organization that's dependent on grants and donations,” Challander said.

Habitat for Humanity officials say the house was about six weeks from getting finished. It's set to go to Nikki Hammond and her kids.

“She’s a hardworking single mother with three children. She has two daughters and one son. She works at McDonald’s fulltime, worked there for six years. She's a very hard worker,” said Diane Koenig, Habitat for Humanity Brevard Co. Executive Director.

Hammond herself has worked with the builders on her house for nearly 200 hours. Habitat officials say the robbery is a setback for Hammond, but the county's generosity will come through for them.

“Brevard County has supported Habitat for Humanity for 31 years, and we have served 340 families in that time,” Koenig said, “so we know the community will come out and support us.”

Cocoa police say it's an open investigation. Habitat leaders say they're praying for the robbers, and considering their options for making their building sites more secure.

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