Church copper theft attempt ends painfully for suspect in NW Harris Co. church

December 12, 2012 9:11:47 PM PST
Grinches, that is how a pastor describes the crooks who've left his congregation in the dark. Now, usual activities at the Westway Baptist Church in northwest Harris County were canceled because the building has no electricity.

It seems the thieves had it all figured out -- cut the lines in two places so they could safely steal the copper. Well, that didn't happen and now someone out there is suffering the painful consequences.

A giant generator and severed power lines are tell tale signs that Westway Baptist Church has problems. Early Wednesday morning, a call from the alarm company alerted church leaders to this...

"These bolt cutters welded to the wire," head deacon Michael Kirtley said.

In the process of trying to steal the wire for its copper, a thief was stopped right in his tracks. A surveillance camera was rolling and we were with Kirtley when he watched it for the first time.

"He blew up!" Kirtley said.

In the video, you can see a truck pull up. There is one man cutting the wires near the street, the other at the breaker box and soon the explosion.

"It should be warning for them that you don't make a mistake. If you make a mistake, this is what happens to you," church member Homer Pate said.

The crime cut power to the entire building.

"When you don't have electricity, the Grinch has landed," Kirtley said.

The church had to cancel all of Wednesday night's activities and rent a costly generator just to get ready for Sunday services.

"Our deductible is $5,000," Kirtley said.

Kirtley keeps recalling Proverbs 15:3.

"He watches over the evil and the good He saw those guys doing that. Whether it was the Lord smacking him, who knows," Kirtley said.

Church members feel bad for the suspect but they also think his injuries could give him away.

Anyone with information regarding the suspects is asked to contact the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Anyone interested in helping the Westway Baptist Church can call 281- 894-4542.


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