HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Thieves in Hartford broke into a construction site and stole thousands of dollars worth of tools and even the boiler out of the basement. What makes it worse is that it was a Habitat for Humanity project.

Habitat for Humanity uses volunteers to restore homes and help people buy their own homes who otherwise might not be able to afford them. This home that was stolen was going to a veteran and his family.

“This is a zero-interest mortgage, so they are purchasing the home and they help us build the house,” said Kris McKelvie, Habitat for Humanity Director of Construction. “They have to put in 150 volunteer hours.”

After the new year, someone broke in and not only stole the majority of the tools being used to build the house, but ripped the boiler out of the basement.

“It’s really heartbreaking,” McKelvie said. “When you think of all the man hours the volunteers and put into this home, amount of money raised to purchase the boiler and all the work that went into putting a veteran family into this house. It really is upsetting.”

Volunteers know how hard it was to install the boiler in the first place.

“This is not an easy house to carry a boiler down into the basement in the first place, so it was a lot of work to get it out of here,” McKelvie said.

Hartford police are investigating and they think it’s someone who knows what they are doing as the pipes to the boiler were cut clean and the gas and water had to be shut off before it was stolen.

“Tablesaw, chop saw, DeWalt tools, batteries and chargers,” McKelvie said. “It slows down progress across the board. These are tools we have been using for years. Most of them were generously donated by Stanley, so it is upsetting for an organization that supports us, so it’s a huge financial loss.”

The items that were stolen were worth over $10,000, according to Habitat for Humanity.

The volunteers are more determined than ever to get the homeowners into the house on time.

“We are all giving our time,” said Steve Wygonowski. “We are all making the effort to get something done. We know the homeowners want to get in the house and we don’t want the project to be delayed. I think we are going to work even harder and pull together as a team.”

The project was expected to be completed in March and Habitat for Humanity says they will still make their deadline. They also say security measures have been increased.

If you would like to help Habitat for Humanity recover the loss, click here.