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Thieves nab copper from Henderson churches

Posted November 17, 2010

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— Copper thieves have struck the heating and air conditioning units outside three Henderson churches in less than a week, authorities said Wednesday.

Five units at Spirit of Life Christian Church were damaged Saturday, church pastor Rev. Stan Rice said.

"It's an assault against the church," Rice said Wednesday as he surveyed the damage. "Until this individual or individuals are apprehended, you know, I don't think we're going to have peace in our community as a whole."

The church spent about $64,000 to install the heating and cooling system, which has been reduced to pieces of scrap, he said.

Henderson police said 13 copper thefts have occurred at local businesses since the beginning of October. Equipping Faith Church was targeted last Thursday, and Jesus House of Prayer was hit both Sunday and Tuesday.

Henderson church copper theft Thieves nab copper from Henderson churches

"We're upset about what is occurring in the community," said Lt. Chris Ball of the Henderson Police Department. "The amount of money (thieves) might receive from this is minute (compared with) the damage and the heartache to these businesses."

Investigators are following leads in the various thefts and have identified persons of interest, Ball said.

Rice said his congregation held its most recent Sunday service outside because there was no air circulation inside.

"Our church is a church of faith," he said. "We're still going to be having our services faithfully and just fulfilling our mission to the community."

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  • Dixiecrat Nov 18, 2010

    "The amount of money (thieves) might receive from this is minute (compared with) the damage and the heartache to these businesses." I don't think the thieves are too worried about that...

  • Outlaw Josey Wales Nov 18, 2010

    If you have to come to Henderson / Vance County, make sure your valuables are out of site in your car. The thieves here are masters of smash and run.

  • haleibc Nov 17, 2010

    There you go blaming the recycler. Well blame the church for wanting air conditioning. Blame the air conditioner. Blame everybody but the guilty party for their actions. You are the same people that don't have the stomach for the death penalty when needed.

  • Hoozyerhootie Nov 17, 2010

    Check out the State of Washington. When you turn in scrap, you have to give the dealer your information and where you got the scrap. Then they mail you the check for the scrap. Works great. Scrap dealers are then also responsible for what they take in.

  • oldrebel Nov 17, 2010

    This is a problem only because metal dealers do not ascertain where the materials that they purchase came from. If there was no profit in the crime, it wouldn't be happeneing.