Home-building organization asks neighbors to watch out for each other after odd theft

Posted at 10:00 PM, Jul 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-14 00:00:20-04

MAGNA, Utah -- Someone stole six to seven pieces of sod from the front lawn of a newly built Habitat for Humanity home in Magna recently.

"I got a call that basically the front lawn had been stolen and it took a little while for my brain to actually catch up to that concept, that someone would steal the front lawn of a Habitat for Humanity home," said Ed Blake, executive director of Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity.

The home was recently dedicated to a new family, a single mother who lives with her 91-year-old mother.

"I couldn't believe it, I mean, I never thought anyone would steal sod," said Angelina Chavez, the new homeowner.

They were in the process of moving in when they awoke one morning to see a section of their front lawn missing. The missing sod has an estimated value of $100-$150, according to Blake.

Habitat for Humanity has built 92 homes throughout the Salt Lake Valley since the mid 1980's. Blake said this is the first time a front lawn has been stolen.

"Just the shocking idea that someone would steal a front lawn, is the part that really caught us and the fact that the neighbors and the community didn't really see or hear or pay attention to someone stealing our front lawn," Blake said.

Blake said they hope communities and neighbors will do more to watch out for each other so something like this doesn't happen again.

"What we're asking the community to do is care about each other, asking them to look out for things like this, to know your neighbor, to pay attention to what is going on," Blake said.

Chavez said she is just on 'cloud nine' having her new home and is very thankful the company who originally donated the sod has offered to replace the missing section.

"I'm glad it is getting replaced, and it makes me feel good and I do feel safe here," Chavez said. "I just can't understand why somebody would do that."

For more information about Salt Lake Valley Habitat For Humanity, visit their website.