Results 1 to 1 of 1
05-31-2006, 11:15 AM #1
May 31, 2006
By Lisa DeNeal
GARY — There’s a special place in hell for thieves who break into a place of worship and steal an air conditioner.
Pastors and members of area churches that have been victims of such thefts met at New Nazareth Baptist Church on Tuesday. The Rev. Willie V. Nichols, pastor at New Nazareth, held the special meeting with Gary police Cmdrs. Anthony Stanley and Jack Arnold, Sgt. Richard Allen and Gary Police Chief Nathaniel Brannon.
Nichols said several churches have been victims of air-conditioner theft and now the thieves have expanded to businesses and residential areas.
He said the stolen air conditioners were sold for scrap, particularly for copper.
Those who attended the meeting talked about how to decrease the crime wave and find the culprits.
“It has to be a team of thieves doing this and they know exactly what they are doing to get the air conditioners,” said McArthur Hayes, a deacon at St. John Baptist Church, which has been struck four times.
“We are talking about $17,000 worth in damage and stolen property. And then we have to replace the unit, but every time we do, it happens again. We cannot afford to keep replacing it,” Hayes said.
Gary Police Cmdr. Jack Arnold said the department is working with Community Oriented Police officers to get extra surveillance Also, pawn shops and junkyard owners have been asked to watch for customers bringing in air conditioner parts.
Brannon said three investigators are on the case.
“I grew up with some of the members and pastors of these churches, so it hits me hard to hear this. But we are going to catch them,” Brannon said.
Arnold said it was disheartening that someone would break into a church and damage property to steal an item for which a pawn shop or junkyard would pay only $25 or $30.
I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos-Equis. I am the most interesting man in the world. Stay thirsty my friends.