Thieves steal parts of nine A/C units from church

July 1, 2011 3:45:38 PM PDT
A church known for giving back to its community has been hit hard by thieves who were after their air conditioning units, and the crime has left them scrambling before services on Sunday.

Last month was the hottest June on record and July is already shaping up to be more of the same. Now, that southeast Houston church is dealing with the sweltering temperatures.

Early Friday morning, someone cut right through the security cage and gutted an A/C unit, taking most of its working parts. It must've taken some time to do all this, but it appears no one saw them do it.

So now the fans are running on high at the Evangelist Temple Church of God in Christ. So are emotions.

"It hurts, it hurts, mainly because I have the heart of the church," said Louisa Kyles, wife of the church's pastor.

The church was hit by thieves overnight. Someone stripped parts from nine air conditioning units that keep the house of worship cool. All of the units had fences around them. Some even had protective cages. But that didn't do any good.

"Looked like it was cut," Kyles said.

The closest neighbor is hundreds of yards away, tucked behind rows of heavy trees. Kyles figures whoever did this knew they would be well hidden from most eyewitnesses.

Replacing the units, Kyles says, will be pricey.

"This is my estimation, $30,000-50,000," Kyles said.

Every week, the church feeds 200-plus people from their food pantry. They pride themselves on helping those in need. Stealing from those who help the community, they say, is unfathomable.

"Whoever those persons was, God is gonna hold them responsible for that," church member Joann Ardoin said.

If you have information about the thieves, you are urged to contact the Houston Police Department.

Folks there are worried about the short term now, mainly on whether insurance cover the replacement cost and if they can get the A/C working again before Sunday.

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