YouthBuild staff, crews reeling after tools and a vehicle stolen


ELKINS, W.Va. – Zander Lloyd came to YouthBuild after what he described as a rough start in life; working through a placement to find a way to make a difference in his own life.

“I like construction and I heard about this place through one of my workers, and I was like I want to get on top of that so I can have a better future,” Lloyd said.

Zander Lloyd uses setups like this to practice homebuilding skills at YouthBuild in Elkins

That was made more difficult earlier this week after someone broke into YouthBuild and stole a collection of tools the organization uses on a daily basis.

“Staff first starts arriving at 6:30 a.m. We realized that our tools were missing, some really big substantial tools like a table saw that weighs hundreds of pounds and then smaller tools that we had been using these tools just the day before when we left at three,” said YouthBuild Program Manager Michelle Phares.

Seeing all those tools had gone missing Tuesday morning was bad enough, but as crews stood right here, they also realized that the car that was supposed to be here was also missing as well.

Phares suspects the thief drove it away with their tools inside. It’s an even tougher blow since that car was needed to help get them to job sites and back safely.

“When we got that Escape, we were thrilled. We were safe to be on the road. I don’t know how we’re going to replace that. So we are hoping that the police find it and that there’s no damage to it,” Phares said.

For his part, Lloyd is trying to make the best of a bad thing but hopes to see everything returned, and the thief caught.

“It’s just crappy whenever you work for something, buy your own stuff, and then someone out of the random that might not have a job, doesn’t work for anything just comes in and takes the stuff you worked for and bought with your own hard-earned money,” said Lloyd.

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department is investigating, and Elkins Mayor Van Broughton has personally offered a reward for anyone with information on the crime.

Details on the missing tools and vehicle can be found here.

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