A 47-year-old Laurel man was arrested Sept. 5 in connection to the robbery of a construction trailer at a Habitat for Humanity build site on Church Road in Seaford.
According to the Delaware State Police, the site’s construction manager called 911 on Aug. 28 to report someone had cut the locks off the trailer doors and had removed $4,500 worth of power tools.
Police said they discovered Larry G. Milburn Jr. had attempted to sell some tools to the owner of a welding business near Seaford that same morning.
Police said Milburn was taken into custody on Sept. 5 without incident. He is charged with third degree burglary, theft and criminal mischief. He was also arrested for three unrelated burglaries that occurred in the Seaford and Laurel areas. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $6,500 secured bond.
According to Delaware State Police Cpl. Gary Fournier, the tools have yet to be recovered.
On Sept. 4, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity sent an email to members of the media stating that for the first time in its 22-year history, they had been the victims of a serious robbery. The email asked for donations of tools ranging from a $50 pneumatic nailer to a $700 miter saw. The organization also asked for monetary donations to cover the cost of the stolen items.
Tom Protack, community engagement director for Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, said the equipment is insured, but the deductible is actually higher than the cost of the tools.
“Like most nonprofit companies we have a higher deductible because of our lower rates,” Protack said, adding the organization is shocked that someone would steal from Habitat.
He said the theft has slowed work at that Seaford build site.
“We had to scurry to move tools from other job sites.”
Protack said the community has stepped up in reaching out to Habitat and offering assistance.
“Thankfully, a response is starting to happen and interest is trickling in,” he said. “We have a lot of faith. We believe people will share their blessings with us to keep our housing ministry on track.”
Habitat will accept donations of slightly used tools. For more information on how to help, visit www.sussexcountyhabitat.org, call (302) 855-1153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.