NEW DORP BEACH — The family of the 89-year-old Hurricane Sandy victim forced to rebuild her home again after arsonists torched it has taken to the internet to raise money for repairs.
Loren Centineo, great niece of Mary Roberts, 89, has started an online fundraising effort to raise $10,000 to rebuild Roberts’ home a second-time.
“At 89 years old she is yet again displaced,” Centineo wrote on the Fundly campaign page.
On July 14, an intruder set four separate fires in Roberts’ Center Place home, where she’s lived for over a decade, three-months after she was able to move back in to her house, which was flooded by Sandy.
“You're just devastated,” Centineo, 31, told DNAinfo.com New York. “It was like a brand new house. Now it’s like Sandy times two.”
The intruder made out with two TV sets and Roberts’ BMW, which was parked in the driveway, while she was on vacation in Canada with her daughter, family said.
On Thursday, July 18, Michael Vanwinkle, 32, of Oakwood, was arrested and charged with criminal possession after he pawned jewelry that belonged to Roberts. An investigation is currently underway to see if Vanwinkle played any role in the arson and burglary of Roberts' home, a law enforcement source said.
Roberts was displaced for five months after Sandy, and is currently staying with her son-in-law.
Centineo said the costs to get the home repaired after the storm totaled around $40,000 and Roberts only received a little help from FEMA.
Currently, almost $100 has been raised to rebuild Roberts home a second time.