Copper Thieves Hit North Georgia Churches

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 3/14 6:45 pm
NORTH GEORGIA (WDEF-TV) - Thieves who don't mind a lot of work for very little money are praying on Churches in North Georgia.
They've now hit three counties, and investigators are asking you to help catch them.
Two weeks ago copper thieves did about 20-thousand dollars damage to the Berean Baptist Church on Sand Mountain in Dade county.
They took the time to cut-out the coils in 5 air conditioning and heating units.
The case is still under investigation.
But this week---the copper bandits got even busier.

SHERIFF STEVE WILSON, WALKER COUNTY "Monday morning reported to the sheriff's office that two churches on Lookout mountain where the heating and air units were vandalized,destroyed sometime late Sunday night..early Monday morning."

Those churches were Ascalon Baptist Church and Lookout Mountain Assembly of God. Then last week the target was Zion Assembly Church of God in Chickamauga.

SHERIFF STEVE WILSON "It appeared that someone had to have had knowledge of electrical work ..at least heating and air work to be doing what they're doing."

But here's the bottom line for this crime spree.

LISA PROCTOR, C AND D RECYCLING "Probably copper tubing about 14 pounds...you're looking at the most about 28 dollars."

Lisa Proctor and reputable scrap metal dealers have a rigid system in place to make sure they don't end-up helping the thieves.

LISA PROCTOR "I take a picture of the automobile,and that has to stay on file for 3 years. I also take their driver's license..take their tag number."

Sheriff Wilson says the metal is probably being taken and sold in other counties.
But getting that stolen copper is dangerous.

SHERIFF STEVE WILSON "Its a very dangerous thing, what they're doing..those things are still you know alive..with electricity hooked up to them..going in there and cutting this stuff out."

Sheriff Wilson believes the copper thieves may be meth addicts trying to raise money for their next fix.
He's asking anyone with information to call the local police or sheriff's department.


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