The Parker County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department says thieves have stolen or damaged air conditioning units at seven different churches in the area, and that’s just in the last three months.
Most recently the Faith Presbyterian Church in Aledo, Texas, was vandalized when a unit was pulled from the side of the building. The damage will cost the church at least $10,000.
Air conditioner thieves have also hit in Aledo, Azle, Millsap, Springtown and Weatherford.
Police say the air conditioning units are tempting to crooks because they contain large amounts of copper, which is sold on the scrap market for top dollar.
For many, the crimes seem more deplorable since they’re happening at churches. “[It’s an] an awful crime to desecrate a house of worship or steal from a church,” said Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler.
Sheriff Fowler said some thefts are easy for criminals, because the units are mounted in windows but other thefts required a little more effort. “Some of them have even gone up on the roof with ladders and cut the condition units loose up there and dropped ‘em over the side of the building and hauled ‘em off,” he said.