Church stripped of copper

Published 12:06 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2007

By By Lydia Grimes – features reporter
First Baptist Church of East Brewton was robbed and vandalized over the weekend by thieves who followed what seems to be a new trend in crime.
According to Sgt. Steven Bradley of East Brewton Police Department, a church member discovered the theft when he walked behind the fellowship hall of the church.
Curtis Ray Parker found two 7.5-ton air conditioner units broken and lying on the ground. The units had been stripped of their copper wiring and the metal housings left scattered. One 5-ton unit, which contained aluminum wiring, was left undisturbed. There is some belief that the two 7.5-ton units located behind the main church sanctuary were targeted too, but for some reason were not destroyed.
East Brewton Police Officer Marvin Stallworth responded to the church at approximately 8 a.m. Monday.
Bradley said that this is a crime that has become more profitable for thieves as the price of copper has risen dramatically.
The theft in East Brewton comes at a time when Baldwin County is also experiencing a wave of copper thefts. The Press-Register of Mobile reported Tuesday that five separate churches located along Alabama 59 had air conditioners broken into apparently to strip the copper wiring from the units.
Bradley said local buyers of copper are always good to cooperate with the authorities in reporting possible thefts.
Dale Yoder of Air Refrigeration and Contracting said the theft of copper wiring is definitely a problem now that the price has risen.
The East Brewton Police are asking the public to report any information they might have about this crime to the police department at 867-4864.

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