The Asbury Park Press reports:
LAKEWOOD — A log splitter was reported stolen from Tent City on Tuesday night, leaving the homeless here to worry about how they will be able to split firewood to keep warm in the woods.
Minister Steven Brigham, caretaker at Tent City, said he filed a theft report with the Lakewood Police Department after he noticed the log splitter was missing. He believes it was taken on Monday night.
Brigham said the log splitter is valued at $1,400 and was donated to the camp.
“I appeal to the person or persons who took this,” Brigham said. “This is a vital part of our survival. It is part of the lifeblood of Tent City.”
The camp has about four days worth of firewood stocked up, Brigham said.
Brigham said that residents saw a truck drive into one entrance on Monday night. He said they believed that the truck was making a delivery of trees to be split for firewood.
The log splitter has a 27-ton compression and was chained to a tree in the encampment, he said.
The splitter was not in its usual place and someone had to cut the chain to get the large piece of equipment out of the camp, Brigham said.
“It is really disturbing that someone would be so selfish,” Brigham said. “I am appealing to their conscience. This is something that people here really need. Please return it.”
Police Sgt. Steve Vigna confirmed Brigham filed the report and the theft is being investigated.
Anyone with information about the theft should call Lakewood Police at 732-363-0200 or Brigham at 732-364-0340.