HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Thieves are targeting churches in Huntington again creating costly nightmares in an effort to get a little copper.
“They just cut the cords and cut the copper and took off," Lighthouse Baptist Church Pastor Dennis Morrello said. "They probably weren't here for more than a few minutes.”
Pastor Morrello is frustrated. While his church no longer meets at this location, they still own the property and are still responsible for it's maintenance, which now includes two stolen air conditioning units.
“Churches are organizations that operate off donations," Morrello said. "It’s very difficult during this time and to lose $6000-$7000 is a big blow.”
“They definitely knew what they were doing because they had a pair of bolt cutters and were able to cut the lock off,” said Tenth Avenue Church of God Pastor Darrell Buttram.
Across town, Tenth Avenue Church of God also got hit within days of Lighthouse.
Another two air conditioning units were affected, but the thief or thieves took their time with this hit.
Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist Church, not far from the other churches, was also hit making it the third church targeted just this week.
In this case, its another dismantling job that will cost thousands to correct.
While local pastors are certainly discouraged by the crime, they're encouraged by the potential for good.
“I would like to see them get the help they need,” said Pastor Morrello.
“If they have an addiction, we have help and services to provide them,” said Pastor Buttram.
Both pastors said they will work even harder to deter thefts, but are prayerful the thieves will seek help in other more constructive ways.