Another ETX church hit by copper thieves

Another ETX church hit by copper thieves

SMITH COUNTY (KLTV) - A 14th church was targeted by thieves, who made off with their air conditioner.

Smith County Deputies were called Thompson Hill Baptist Church on FM 496 north of Tyler.

The church was left with no air conditioning for Sunday service.

"It's too hot out here to be with out no air, and furthermore, especially in a church where people are trying to go praise God, and you can't even concentrate because of the heat," says church neighbor, Michael Saunders.

Despite the heat, worship continued.

"It was kind of hard because we didn't have any air, we had to go back in the kitchen part, where we had a window unit, we used it and had service back there," says member of church, Luther Williams.

Officials say the cool breeze is not what these suspects want, "They're after the aluminum coils and the copper components inside the air conditioning unit," said Smith County Lt. Tony Dana.

A new law that will be in effect this fall, will make it unlawful for any metal recycling company to accept air conditioning parts, unless the individual has a license. Some Tyler companies, are already on board.

"We have two business in Tyler to already agree not to accept air conditioning components," said Dana.

The Sheriff's department asks if anyone suspects activity at a church, especially when it's dark, to call the police right away, and do not approach the suspects.

"We don't like stealing at all, but when you start stealing from a church, that's ridiculous," says Dana.

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