CINCINNATI -- Thieves stole tools and equipment worth $9,000 from a nonprofit that serves disabled and low-income Cincinnatians, according to a news release from the organization.
Easterseals, which according to its missing statement "breaks down barriers to employment for people with disabilities, people facing disadvantages and veterans," runs a job training program called Building Value that helps un- and underemployed people learn construction skills by creating goods from recycled materials.
That mission was jeopardized Sunday night, the organization wrote, by a group of thieves who cut through the chainlink fence surrounding Building Value's resale store and robbed it of valuable equipment, including jackhammers, portable generators and shovels.
"The thieves stole our ability to do what we do for the individuals we serve," store manager David Daniels said.
Building Value will be forced to rent tools until their missing ones are found or replaced, he said. Staff members are already doing their part to help by bringing items from home.
Daniels added he wished the people who stole from his store could instead have learned from the lesson it tries to teach.
"We have people who are actually in a bad situation who are trying to better themselves," he said.
If you would like to help Easterseals and Building Value replace their stolen equipment, you can contribute to their costs online.
Anyone with information about the theft itself should call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.