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It was one day before William Samford along with his wife and her mother were scheduled to move into their new home in Meridian, Mississippi. At 66 years old, the Samfords were about to become homeowners for the first time, and it was all thanks to Lauderdale County Habitat for Humanity.
Unfortunately, area burglars had other plans.
"We came over to get a termite inspection, and when I drove up, I noticed the window of the house had been broken in," Samford told WTOK.
He said he saw broken glass on the front porch and feared the worst.
"And when we entered the house, we saw that the countertop and sink, stove, refrigerator, and the bathroom in the hallway had been removed," said Samford.
Monica Bradley, executive director for the Lauderdale County Habitat for Humanity, told the station that her heart sank when she heard the news.
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"We've had minor break-ins before, some vandalism on some of our properties, but nothing like this," said Bradley. "This is the first time that we've had a house broken into where it has been completely stripped down like this one has."
Light fixtures, the washing machine, and even the toilet had been stolen. Habitat officials are understandably frustrated. The Samford home was also the target of an attempted break-in earlier this month.
“I'm feeling disappointed and angry. Lauderdale County Habitat for Humanity works to help low-income people become homeowners,” Bradley wrote on the organization’s Facebook page. “We have dealt with a lot of situations and never shout out in frustration but this time....this time I can not let this go.”
Meridian police are on the case, but in the meantime, the Samfords need help. You can donate to the Lauderdale County Habitat for Humanity on Facebook here and on their GoFundMe page, and help them finally move into their first home.