Flower City Habitat for Humanity home burglarized

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A home being built in the Beechwood neighborhood by Flower City Habitat for Humanity will take a bit longer to complete, after someone stole construction tools from the property. Neighbors are fed up and talking about the rise in property crimes happening in their neighborhood.

The house is located at Baldwin Street and Garson Avenue in the Beechwood neighborhood, which consists of streets between Bay Street and North Atlantic Avenue, and from Culver Road to North Goodman Street.

“This cannot continue this way,” said Kyle Crandall, president of the Beechwood Neighborhood Association.

Sometime over the weekend, someone broke into the locked storage unit on the side of the two-story home under construction by Flower City Habit For Humanity. Crandall says it’s disturbing that it happened to an organization trying to better his community.

“There’s too many good people in our neighborhood that are suffering at the hands of a few, and so hopefully we’ll see some changes,” said Crandall.

Rochester police say a property crime report was filed, and they are investigating. Right now, no one is quite sure when the tools were stolen, exactly what was stolen, or their value. One homeowner News10NBC talked to says it’s not the first time the construction site has been burglarized.

“It’s very unsettling to think that you can have a house here being built for community purposes, and people take that as an opportunity to steal. You know it’s just, there’s something that’s very unsettling for the community,” said Andre Jenkins, who lives across the street.

Crandall says property crime is on the rise in Beechwood.

“I think it’s some of the little petit crime that has really started to escalate again. We have found that, you know, when there really doesn’t seem to be any consequences for those that are committing the crimes –now it’s getting to the point where you know it’s becoming much more frequent, and we’re having many, many, many more victims as a result,” said Crandall.

Jenkins says he hopes this incident doesn’t deter others from investing in Beechwood.

“It’s very refreshing to see that, you know, people willing to build houses so that people have a place to live, but again to take that as an opportunity to steal, I mean you know just doesn’t make any sense,” said Jenkins.

Habitat For Humanity’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Guillemette released this statement, saying: “While it is unfortunate that incidents like this impact our organization and the good work we do, our broader concern is how this negatively impacts the families, businesses, and organizations that make up the communities we serve. This incident is symptomatic of our communities’ housing and economic insecurities.  Despite this, we and our partners will press on with the crucial work we do every day.” 

Flower City Habitat is building dozens of homes in Beechwood over the next few years.