Van, tools used to fix blighted Detroit homes stolen - Dallas News |

Van, tools used to fix blighted Detroit homes stolen

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A pair of cousins say thieves made off with over $25,000 worth of equipment used to fix blighted Detroit homes at no cost.

Mike Gokenbach and Troy Lucassian work for Handyman Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income families with free home maintenance. "We'd fix bathtubs and leaking sinks and fallen down porches," says Gokenbach. "It was just so rewarding."

But on Aug. 7, the cousins say they parked their van outside Handyman headquarters on the 15000 block of Mack Avenue around 6 a.m. and went for breakfast. When they came back, the van and all the tools inside were gone. "We came back and the van was gone," said Lucassian.

Five days later, the van was found less two miles away, completely stripped.

"You guys stuck a dagger in our heart," says Gokenbach to the thieves. "And not just us and what we do, but this whole community. Your neighbors, your grandmothers, you did it to everybody."

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP or the Detroit police.


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