Police: Crook targets Habitat for Humanity

Police: Crook targets Habitat for Humanity (Reporter: Jon Erickson)

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A repeat-convict picked Habitat for Humanity as his latest target, according to New Bern Police.

Christopher Lee Lovett, 53, stole hundreds of dollars' worth of tools Tuesday night from a Habitat trailer on Crescent Street in New Bern, police said.

The trailer is adjacent to a nearly-completed Habitat home.

After a witness called authorities, officers found Lovett pedaling away from the scene with the tools in his bicycle basket, police said.

Amanda Darnell is set to move into the Crescent Street home next week.

"Taking is wrong anyway, but to take from Habitat?  [Yuck!]," Darnell said.

Police charged Lovett with felony breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen property from a construction site.

The Vanceboro man has schemed, stolen, and assaulted since 1991, according to his criminal record.

This is not the first time a Habitat trailer has been targeted, according to Mark Beard, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Craven County.

"Every time you suffer something like this, it's a set back," Beard said.

"You have to spend money on something other than building houses."

The stolen tools, which included a reciprocating saw and set of hand tools, were returned after Lovett's arrest, Beard said.

The Craven County chapter has been building homes since 1989, according to their website.

A Habitat homeowner puts in hundreds of hours of labor into building his or her new home.

They buy the house at-cost from the organization.    

The house on Crescent Street will be the 56th home completed in Craven County since 1989, according to Habitat for Humanity of Craven County's website.

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