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Tools, copper stolen from Habitat for Humanity house
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A Habitat for Humanity house in Gainesville was broken into over the holidays, authorities said Wednesday.

A crew returned to work on the 3500 block of Triple Creek Bend after a holiday break and found the back door of the house had been forced open, said Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks.

Power tools worth more than $1,000 were stolen from a storage pod, and copper wiring was stripped from the house, said Greg Beauchamp, head of the work crew.

The tools had been donated to Habitat for Humanity for the project, Wilbanks said.

Beauchamp estimated the cost of repairing the wiring at $2,000 and put the value of the stolen tools at $1,600. He said the line from heating and cooling system to the house also was damaged in an attempt to steal copper. He estimated the cost of that repair at $200.

Beauchamp said the break-in and resulting damage would set completion of this particular project back about a couple of weeks.

“We’re at a point now where you just fix it and hope they don’t break in again,” he said.

There are no leads or suspects, Wilbanks said, and the case will be assigned to an investigator.

“Tools have always been popular items for theft,” he said, because they are easy to pawn or sell for cash. “Copper has been (popular for theft) for the last few years, after the price of scrap metal has gone up.”

He said vacant homes are often targeted by copper thieves.

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