The Main Stream

Feb 7, 2013 7:20 PM by John Patrick

Thieves strike Sahuarita church, again

SAHUARITA - Over the past several months Sahuarita Baptist Church has been robbed three times leaving a behind a big bill.

As the price of scrap metal increases so does the theft of air conditioning units and their copper components. Pastor Brian Steely, with Sahuarita Baptist Church, says they've been the victim of this crime twice in the past three months.

"The second time it was $9,500 and this time it's a little over $14,000," explains Steely.

Steely says the church faces open desert and the thieves likely backed up a truck, cut the lines and loaded up a total of seven units over the past three months.

Carlos Millan, with Green Valley Heating and Cooling, describes the units as industrial grade and will likely just be used for scrap material.

Members of the community are outraged that something like this was done for a few dollars in scrap. Charlene Gundry works near the church and realizes that time are tough but thinks that there is no excuse for theft.

"It's an economically difficult time and that comes out of people's hard earned money and it's battering to their faith," says Gundry.

Luckily the church is insured but the bills are still paid with member donations.

"We have had some of our folks step up and help with the extra expense so that's been great," says Steely.

Sahuarita Baptist has been without heat for a couple of weeks but crews are working hard to get things up and running before this weekend's cool down.

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