Thou shalt not steal? Thieves rip off 6 AC units at Fern Creek church

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A WAVE 3 Facebook comment may have said it best-- "They'll have to answer to God" for this one. Someone stole the copper out of six air conditioning units at a Fern Creek church and this isn't even the first time it's happened to this parish.

The church's priest fears it may not be fixed before Sunday but his attitude toward the thieves may surprise you.

Organist and pianist Betty Waddell is usually the first person in the doors of St. Alban's Episcopal Church.

"I usually come in early and practice and unlock doors and turn on the air and that sort of thing," she said.

Sunday, her routine changed.

"So it was good to know that don't bother turning on the air because it's not going to do any good," Waddell said.

That's because Friday night, someone broke the eighth commandment and broke into the church's six air conditioning units.

Waddell said her reaction went something like this: "Again? Because this is the third time that it's happened."

"We've been here for 50 years," Father Paul Collins said. "It never happened, but the last three years, it's happening repeatedly."

Collins says the estimates he's gotten to replace the units range from $12,000 to $14,000.

"I understand the people who stole that may hardly get 20, 40 dollars," Collins said. "That made me to think people are really hurting because of the hard economy."

He says he's frustrated, but not angry.

"My faith says we need to love and also we are here to care for the neighbors," he said.

"If people really needed the little bit of money they could get out of the copper, if they came here on a Sunday morning and asked for help, the people of this parish would just give of their hearts and their money and they wouldn't have to do this kind of stuff," said Waddell.

Father Collins says each time this has happened, the church has taken measures to stop it from happening again, cutting down bushes that shielded thieves from public view and adding fences at a cost of thousands of dollars.

This time, they're considering adding cages around the A.C. units, but that will cost an additional $3000.

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