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Theft Victim Prays For Thieves

Theft Victim Prays For Thieves

By Rebekah Rae. CREATED Dec 14, 2012

THURMAN, IA--  Sandra Umphreyes smiles at the sound of power tools, she knows today should have turned out a lot different.  

After the Thurman Tornado destroyed her town and home last spring, Umphreyes had little hope.  Then the non profit disaster relief group One Family, One Purpose, based out of Illinois, came to her aid.  They began building Umphreyes a new home just before December.  But Umphreyes didn't just lose her home, she lost memories of her late husband and a safe place for her special needs daughter, and until One Family, One Purpose, she lost her joy.  

The building started and with every wall stud, Umphreyes began to find her smile.  "It's really hard to lose the things you love" but she found new things to love.  Like the thought of her own new bathroom, a patio outside her new door and a new tornado safe in case Thurman ever sees another disaster.  

"I don't understand it!"  When Umphreyes found out that thieves had stolen the charities tool trailer, she was baffled.  Sometime between Thursday after the construction had stopped and Friday before it began, someone had taken the trailer and all the tools in it.  They then drove the trailer on a back road out of town just two miles away and started to unload.  Over half the tools, over $25,000 worth of tools, were gone.  When Fremont County Sheriff's department found the trailer, some tools were still in it but many disappeared.  

"Apparently someone needed the trailer more than we do."  One Family, One Purpose founder Ryan Johnson is disappointed but not angry.  Instead, he and his crew say a prayer and thank God for another great working day.  "Everyone of us have made mistakes in our lives, we just wish the individuals responsible for this would have just asked for help."  Johnson says their charity help people everyday and would not have turned anyone away.  

Anyone with information on the missing tools is asked to call Fremont County Sheriffs department at 712-374-2424.  The mayor of Thurman is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest.