Renovation nightmare for Baton Rouge man

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Someone has created a renovation nightmare for a North Baton Rouge man. The 80-year-old owner says he's already spent several months and thousands of dollars to repair his rental property, and now he has to start from scratch.

The home has been empty for several months. In that time it was stripped of its electrical wiring. Lawrence Duncan says he spent thousands of dollars for the repairs on his rental property, and Entergy was scheduled to turn on his power early next week. Now his next tenant must wait.

"Someone broke into this weekend or last night whenever time it was and stole...they went in my attic and cut all of my electricity out of there," said Duncan.

The 80-year-old says the burglar, or burglars, broke a back window and took all of the home's brand-new copper wiring, some pipes and even the kitchen sink with garbage disposal that he just had installed! Duncan's friends are outraged.

"It's a darn shame," said Samuel Sims, a friend who was scheduled to do some work on the house. "Imagine yourself just rewired this whole house...just paid the electrician about $6,000 then sheet rock work...about $10,000 worth of work."

Duncan says his insurance won't cover the damage, and he says police told him they could not lift any fingerprints from the home. He says he just feels stuck in a bad situation. Sims says someone has got to be able to help out his elderly friend.

"They have to be stopped. Just for a few nickels and dimes...and this man has spent $10,000. It's just low down," said Sims.

Duncan prays whoever is responsible for his trouble will just leave him and his property alone in the future.

"If I catch them doing it, I'm telling you somebody's going to get hurt," said Duncan. "I got signs that say no trespassing all around the yard, and they're coming in here at night stealing and taking everything they can. I can't even complete my house. Fast as I do one thing they come in and steal it."

Duncan says to install new wiring, the new sheet rock he just installed will have to be torn out and replaced later. He says he's looking at spending $10,000-$12,000 more in repairs.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.