WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita Police Department said 19 churches have fallen victim to copper air conditioner thefts this year.
It was like any normal Wednesday night back in April for Pastor Jerrod Rogers.
He was coming to his church, The Movement Church, to get ready for service when they realized their AC unit was gone.
Rogers said this isn’t the first time an AC unit has gone missing at their church.
They’ve had at least two units taken in the past 10 years.
“In the area, it was stolen, it is just kind of off to the side by an alley, so if they want it, they are going to take it,” said Rogers.
They contacted the police who often see an increase in these types of thefts near the beginning of summer.
“Churches and businesses give you a decent opportunity for theft oftentimes simply because there is not someone at them all the time like most residences,” Sgt. Trevor McDonald, Wichita Police Department, said.
As for the damage, it ended up costing the church $4,500.
It wasn’t replaced right away, so some children’s ministries were hotter than usual for a few weeks.
But they didn’t face as large of an impact as some other businesses who can see bills up to $30,000.
“We are just glad the insurance came through and were able to get it replaced,” Roger said.
After this April theft, they put up a privacy fence, hoping next time the thieves will move on.
“We just want to serve the community, and so it is weird when these same people if they would have just came to us for help, we would have helped them,” Rogers said.
Rogers said his advice to others is to get it lit, get good cameras, and insurance.