LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -Copper was stolen from air conditioning units at a local church, and now they’re without air in their Fellowship Hall building.
Immanuel Baptist Church had copper stolen from three A.C. units. This is not the first time they have experienced something like this.
Pastor Steve Mallow said copper was stolen from one A.C. unit less than a year ago. This time it will cost them over $3,000 to repair all three units.
“This facility is also used for the retired firefighters to have their meetings here, the county election board uses it for precinct voting place, and it’s also rented out to the community. It’s good for the community, not only our church family, but also for our community family also," said Mallow.
Mallow said they plan on adding a security fence to protect their A.C. units. He said they should have their A.C. restored this week.
The cost is being covered by a church member and through their general fund.
“For a small church that’s a pretty heavy hit. That’s about 10% of what we have in the bank right now, but the Lord has always blessed us, always taken care of us and we’re thankful for that," said Mallow.
Darryl Robinson with Robinson Air said copper is often stolen from rental properties, or buildings that are not occupied every day.
“We build an Anti Vandal Cage which is a steel cage that goes around the unit that protects anyone from tampering with that unit. Another thing that you can do is to protect the refrigerant lines that go upside the copper lines that go upside the wall, sometimes they’re exposed, you can build a line cover that covers that refrigerant lines that keeps anyone from cutting them down or whatever," said Robinson.
The Anti-Vandal Cage can cost between $700-$900, and a line cover costs a couple of hundred dollars.
Mallow said he hopes justice is served.
“We are pretty upset about it, and we feel like we have a right to have that anger, and hope they are brought to justice, but also we would like to visit with them and share the love of Jesus Christ with them also," said Mallow.