Copper thieves cost metro church thousands of dollars

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro church must pay thousands in damage after thieves allegedly stole more than 50 lbs. of copper.

Sydney Ramphal, the senior Pastor at Grace Assembly of God,  said the thieves had cut all the copper out of the church's ten air conditioning units, and now he'll have to get his insurance involved.

"Now we were hoping we wouldn't have to report it, but from what the air conditioning people are telling us, it's going to be way beyond that," Ramphal said. It's going to be thousands of dollars."

The pastor said the Deacons noticed the copper missing from the air conditioning units when they closed the parking lot after church Sunday.

The pastor said the gate was locked when they discovered the copper missing. Ramphal said he thinks the thief, or thieves, brought a ladder and hopped the fence.

Ramphal said he learned of the robbery during lunch.

"Almost took my appetite away," Ramphal said.

Ramphal said the theft is starting to cause issues for the church because as temperatures rise, the church doesn't have working air conditioning. Ramphal joked that if it gets hot they'll have to use fans.

Ramphal said the church has not received an official cost for the repairs but said he expects it within  a few days.

"It will cost us thousands of dollars to replace," Ramphal said.

The thieves, though, will only get about $100 if they sell the cooper as scrap.

"So I asked the air conditioning man - how much would all that copper cost? He said it would be about 50 pounds, and they'll get $100," Ramphal said.

The pastor said his congregation doesn't know what happened yet, but they'll know Thursday and Sunday.

The pastor also added that nothing like this has ever happened before, and while forgiveness may be divine, he hopes the thieves get caught.

"You can`t let it worry you, "  Ramphal said. "Somehow, some way, we`ll come out of this."

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