Burglars steal air conditioning units from Glendale church - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Burglars steal air conditioning units from Glendale church

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Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 9:11 am | Updated: 11:56 pm, Thu May 31, 2012.

Sara Carroll, office manager for The Church at Arrowhead in Glendale, said the church staff’s feelings Monday morning could be summed up in one word.

“Disappointed,” she said. “We’re sad, you know, because we’re a church, and we do a lot for the community. It’s disappointing that this would happen to us.”

What happened to them, authorities said Monday, has become common. Sometime between midnight and 7 a.m. Monday, thieves made off with components from 10 air conditioning units at two of the church’s buildings, and the cost to replace those units is high.

“It’s nearly $100,000,” Carroll said. “Seven were taken from our children’s building and three from the youth building.”

Glendale police spokesman Brent Coombs said the motivation behind the crime is no surprise.

“The value of the components inside,” he said. “The value of the raw metal.”

Coombs said Glendale and other Valley cities have seen a rash of these types of crimes over the past few years, with costly equipment like air conditioning units stripped for valuable components or metals within. Carroll said the church, 7902 W. Union Hills Drive, is no stranger to these thefts.

“We’ve had thieves take copper pieces before,” she said. “A backflow unit has been stolen, several brass fittings. But this, this is by far the largest theft we’ve had on our campus.”

The silver lining of the situation is that it happened in January and not July.

“And the weather has been pretty warm lately, too,” she said. “We do have a children’s program (Tuesday) night, and if they needed heat, they wouldn’t have it. Other than that, we should be OK. We’re hopeful we will be able to get at least some of the units replaced by the weekend.”

While chances of catching the thieves may be slim, Carroll said church staff is hopeful nonetheless.

“We’re hoping they will either turn themselves in or the police will catch them. Our insurance is going to cover the cost to replace the units. We’ll be OK. We just would like to see justice served.”

Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or jdempsey@yourwestvalley.com.

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