Wichita church hit hard by copper thieves

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WICHITA, Kansas – Thieves have targeted the Believers Tabernacle on Mount Vernon and Hillside three times in the last 10 days.

It started last week when church staff noticed thieves had stolen copper wire from the air conditioning unit at the children’s building.

Then, Thursday morning they saw that some copper wire was stolen from the air conditioning units at the church itself.

Workers started to replace the air conditioners, but when they came back Friday, the rest of the copper was gone too.

The church’s leader says his community is willing to forgive.

“We don’t care what you’ve done in your past, you come to church and that’s what makes us unique. We take you for who you are, and we just want to spread the gospel to them and love on them even in the midst of this tragedy for us, because it’s taking money away from the community,” said Pastor Rick Unruh.

The contractors say the frustrating thing is that the copper stolen is usually worth a couple hundred bucks, but it cost victims thousands to replace what is damaged in the theft.

The church says it is putting in more security measures to keep this from happening again.

Wichita police are investigating.

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