Local News

Air conditioning units stolen from Durham church

Posted August 23, 2010 10:40 p.m. EDT
Updated August 24, 2010 12:41 p.m. EDT

— Durham police are investigating after someone stole central air conditioning units from the Immanuel Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church.

“I think the first reaction for the most part was disbelief. We figured, we are a church, no one is going to do this,” church pastor John Nixon II said.

The first theft of six units happened earlier this month. Then last week, six additional air conditioning units were also stolen from the 2102 S. Alston Ave. church.

“We heard the next morning when we called the police that other churches in the area had been hit as well,” Nixon said.

With no central air, Nixon said holding summer revival has been difficult. The church rented temporary units to keep the church cool.

“Of course, it is hurting people in our church. At our church in particular, we have got several elderly people that can't come as hot as it is,” Nixon said.

Church member Marion Fuller, 90, isn’t letting the heat keep her away from church. She says she doesn't understand why someone would steal from a church.

“I don't think it is right, and I think they ought to get them,” Fuller said. “It makes me so sad to know that someone would do this and other churches too."

New security grates were installed to protect future air conditioning units at the church.

“We're determined not to be defeated,” Nixon said.

Police said the motive for the crime might have been to sell the copper from the units.

Insurance adjusters estimate replacing the units will cost about $60,000 and will take nearly a month to install.

Police haven't made any arrests and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call Durham Crime Stoppers at 919-547-8327.