LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A Buckingham church that spends a lot of its time helping people, was burglarized. Copper wiring was ripped from many of its air conditioning units... and it's not the only place suffering that kind of theft tonight.
When Devin Marlowe came to work at the Judah Christian Center Friday morning... he was in for a surprise.
"I noticed one unit opened up and pieces scattered around and I started walking around the building and it ended up being six units in total that were vandalized. All the copper was stolen out of them."
The thieves didn't just steal from the sanctuary. They also hit the air conditioning units at the church's office and youth building.
"That turns around and costs us a couple thousand bucks per unit, so it just seems kind of unfair that they don't get a whole lot out of it but it costs us a lot of headaches and a lot of money."
Thursday night, copper tubing and wiring was also stolen from Trace America in Estero. Four brand new A/C units cost the business $26,000 total.
According to Business Week, copper sells for $3.51 a pound - a far cry from what this business, and the church, end up losing.
"I know a lot of people are hurting right now and whoever did this must be pretty desperate and if they're that hurting then they can always let us know and we'll help anyway we can. You don't have to steal and take from people and hurt people."
That Buckingham church is getting help from parishioners to replace the air conditioners. The church is currently working with its insurance company to see what the final cost will be to replace all six units.