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Wires, pipes cut at PEP Housing?s halfway-finished Casa Grande project

Unknown thieves tore through an apartment complex under construction on Casa Grande Road sometime over the weekend, hauling away copper piping, phone lines and other wiring in a likely bid to resell the material.

The apartments for low-income seniors are being built by PEP Housing and are about 60 percent finished.

Damages are estimated at $10,000 so far, said Mary Stompe, the organization?s executive director.

?Not only did they steal valuable materials, they substantially damaged the property,? Stompe said.

The thieves cut wiring that runs through the building?s foundation, meaning concrete work will have to be redone in some areas, and tore open drywall that will have to be replaced, Stompe said.

Water lines were also cut, causing some water damage, she said.

It?s unknown if the vandalism will delay the planned December completion of the 58-unit project, but ?It?s a big hit to us,? said Kari Millar, PEP?s fund-raising director.

PEP Housing is making a public plea for financial help in the wake of the theft, Stompe said.

?This organization was started by citizens concerned about the plight of seniors living on fixed incomes,? she said. ?We need citizen support once again to help PEP Housing recover from this crisis and help finish building this affordable housing project.?

Donations can be sent to PEP Housing, 951 Petaluma Blvd. South, Petaluma 94942, or made online through the agency?s Web site at www.pephousing.org.

Petaluma police are investigating the theft and anyone with information is asked to call 778-4372.

(Contact Corey Young at corey.young@arguscourier.com)

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