Dateline: April. 8, 2022, KDSK, Missouri, United States: “A group of criminals stole two air conditioning units, weighing around 400 pounds and costing approximately $20,000 from a historic Saint Louis church.”
“I’m truly disappointed…I think we need a better approach to crime. It’s just more about arresting the bad; it’s getting to the source,” said the church’s Reverend Rodney Olive.
Dateline: April. 8, 2022, KXAS-TV, Texas, United States: “On the recording of surveillance cameras of the Salem Institutional Baptist Church, a thief is seen walking up to the building, cutting the cage, crawling inside, yanking the copper pipes apart and driving away with the equipment in a car.”
“Totaling all the crimes, the church suffered about $70,000 in losses. This thief broke into the sanctuary and so I ask the community to help us in identifying this person to make sure that the church is not vandalized again,” said Pastor Todd Atkins
Dateline: Jan. 27, 2022, Fox10 Phoenix, Arizona, United States: “While breaking into the air conditioning units of the New Testament Holiness Church and the Covenant Presbyterian Church, a thief leaves behind expensive mess.”
Dateline: Oct. 25,2021, WPLG, Miami, Florida, United States: “The coronavirus pandemic was already causing harm to the church members and now a thief even stole copper out of Plantation’s church’s air conditioning units.”
“It’s so discouraging. I can’t even believe the timing of such evil scheme: Saturday! Right before the Sunday service! We have fans, but it’s not going to be enough for 60 or more people praying inside a closed space,” said Reverend D.H. Dawkins
Dateline: June. 15, 2021, Koco News, Oklahoma, United States: “The Church of the Open Arms is in need of help paying for AC units after a burglar stole the copper out of all air conditioning units and caused a damage that’s beyond repair.”
“The air conditioners cost around $50,000 and we cannot afford five new air conditioning units. However, the summer heat here is totally unbearable,” the Reverend Kayla Bonewell said.
Dateline: Jan. 24, 2021, Fox5 Atlanta, Georgia, United States: “For the second time in a month, someone had vandalized all the air conditioning units of the Salvation Word of Life church.”
“It’s just awful that they took the entire 5 ton units. There are parts scattered everywhere around the property. I must say these are some low life, heart wrenching, unconcerned and uncaring people.”
These reports are not just “stories”, but actual occurring that have taken place since the pandemic.
Usually, we tend to think of an air conditioning unit as the last thing we need to protect from theft. But, let me inform you that AC theft is much more popular than you think. However, it’s a pity and shame that these criminals are now targeting churches and houses of worship. And, because of that vile act, several churches are forced to worship in the heat as they cannot afford to buy new cooling systems. An even more heartbreaking fact is that the pastor of a church in Oklahoma can no longer conduct evening services because of his heart condition.
Despite being local targets for burglars, what a church in Ohio did is now turning heads!
A Biblical Warning
Right a few days after a brand-new $3,500 air conditioning unit was installed in the Akron Alliance Fellowship Church, it was stolen. Pastor Gus Brown took this as an opportunity to preach an inspired word and responded to the theft with the following message that went viral: “Whoever stole our AC Unit: Keep it. It’s hot where you’re going.”
In his interview with WJW-TV, the pastor said, “It was a brand new unit that we had just put in. We hadn’t even made the first payment on it yet, it had only been in a few days.”
The pastor also added that despite this incident, the church is ready to forgive these burglars and there’s still “room for reconciliation” if these thieves make amends for their crimes. His last line was, “my desire is to see these thieves at the church one day.”
I don’t know for you, but that was certainly the funniest yet meaningful church sign I’ve ever seen.