Monday, November 19, 2007

5th church falls victim to thieves

Another area church was reportedly victimized Thursday when church officials realized the central heating and cooling unit had been stolen.David Anderson, chief deputy with the Covington County Sheriff's Office, said a deputy traveled to the Mill Creek Baptist Church on Mill Creek Road at approximately 10 p.m.
"Whoever did this crime cut the wires to the unit, opened the breaker box, took the unit and then nicely enough, turned the power back on to the church," Anderson said. "This is another of the numerous thefts of central heat and air unit from area fraternal organizations, businesses and churches that we are having right now."Earlier this month, the unit at the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge was reported stolen - its wires cut and removed from a concrete pad.
In October, four churches near Florala were victimized over a two-day period. Each of their central heating and air units were removed, as well as one window unit. The perpetrators of those crimes reportedly backed up to the units, cut the power cords with bold cutters, all while the power was still on."People don't think to check on their units right now with weather the way it is, unless they have a heat pump," Anderson said. "People need to take extra precautions to make sure they keep up with those units. I know it sounds odd to say, but keep a watchful eye out. Take measures to keep the units secure, especially if they are in a remote location."
While it is unknown if the same individual or individuals are responsible for each of the thefts, Anderson said he felt the reason the units were stolen was to sell the copper found inside the units."These people are having to steal to support their [drug] habit," he said. "For them, it doesn't matter who owns [the units]. "In their minds, they can get away with it, but they needed to be aware, we are working every lead diligently and it's only a matter of time before these crimes are solved."


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