Maine State Police are investigating the theft of power tools from a construction site in Rome owned by the Travis Mills Foundation that will eventually serve as a retreat for combat-injured veterans and their families, the third such instance of theft in recent years linked to Mills.

The tools belong to Above and Beyond LLC, the Lewiston contractor handling the renovation project, said Lynn Harvey, executive director of the foundation, in a news release. Workers noticed that the tools were missing when they entered the work site Monday morning and state police responded there to investigate.

The investigating officer, Sgt. Alden Bustard, said the value of the loss was approximately $2,300.

The power tools that were stolen included hand power saws and nail guns, said Glenn Therrien, president of Above and Beyond. Though the equipment was insured, Therrien said the amount stolen was not enough to meet the company’s deductible.

But Therrien downplayed the impact the theft will have on the company’s bottom line.

“We’re more just disappointed for Travis,” he said. “Yeah, it’s a little disappointing for us. It’s a little bit of a setback. But it’s just tools. Nobody got hurt. But we’re trying to do something for our wounded warriors, and for someone to do that, it’s just disappointing.”

The Mills foundation is currently renovating the former summer home of Elizabeth Arden, originally built in 1929 and which the group purchased in February 2015 with the goal of converting it into a veterans retreat that the foundation will operate.

Once completed, the renovated lodge that overlooks Long Pond is designed to be accessible for people in different kinds of wheelchairs.

The nonprofit Mills foundation was founded by retired Staff Sgt. Travis Mills in 2013 after he lost both his arms and legs to an improvised explosive device blast a year earlier in Afghanistan. The group’s mission is to help wounded veterans and their families.

“I’m disgusted at the thought someone would enter the property of the Foundation and steal from the very people who are helping to make sure we are on schedule to begin hosting veteran families from across the country next summer,” said Mills, who is also the foundation’s president, in a news release. “To steal from people, especially when they are doing good things for our veterans, is unconscionable.”

Mills and his organization have been the targets of two other thefts in recent years.

In April 2014, more than $10,000 worth of tools were stolen from the site where a state-of-the-art home was being built for Mills in Manchester. An Augusta woman was later convicted of that theft.

In May 2015, burglars broke into the Augusta Elks Lodge and stole more than $10,000 that were earmarked for a Mills foundation fundraiser. Three men from southern Maine were accused of that crime in December that year.

In an interview, Harvey, the organization’s executive director, said the foundation was already planning to install security systems at the renovated lodge before the weekend burglary. But the opportunity to do so had not yet come in the construction cycle.

Harvey asked police if it was unusual for one organization to be the subject of so many thefts, she said.

“They said it was quite common,” she went on. “You hear about ours because Travis is so high profile, but apparently there are people who drive around looking for construction sites. We are concerned. Everybody needs to be. It does happen, and unfortunately, it does happen quite often.”

The Mills foundation purchased the Rome property in February 2015 for $1.7 million. As of late August, a gofundme page to raise funds for the project has met $838,576 of the group’s $2.7 million goal.

The foundation has asked people with information about the missing tools to email Sgt. Bustard at [email protected]

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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