Two More Churches Hit In Pitt County

There have been two more cases of church air conditioning thefts overnight, this time near Farmville.

Pitt County deputies say St. Peter's Church on Seven Pines Road was struck, along with Union Grove Free Will Baptist Church on California Road. Deputies discovered one of the thefts while on patrol, while a church member found the other.

During the past several months dozens of churches in Pitt, Lenoir, Martin, Jones, Beaufort and Craven counties have either been burglarized or had air conditioning units stolen.

Thursday Martin County deputies charged a man with breaking into five churches. Deputies say Kimothy Harrell was previously arrested October 10th for the break-in at the Christ Temple Missionary Church in Pitt County and deputies tied him to the Martin County cases after searching the man's Robersonville home.

Authorities say Harrell broke into the churches, but did not steal any copper from their HVAC units.

Previous Story

Thieves are stealing air conditioning units from dozens of churches in several counties and law enforcement says it's becoming an epidemic across the East.

The Pitt County Sheriff's office says 9 churches have been hit since July.

Captain Kenneth Watson with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office says it's become a big problem, "an epidemic," in several counties across the east which are currently looking for the suspects. Investigators are not sure if the thefts are all related.

There have been several reports in Beaufort County of thieves either taking the AC unit completely or just stealing valuable metal, like copper, from inside. The thefts cost churches thousands of dollars and the thieves will probably only get a few hundred dollars when selling the metal to a recycling yard.

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  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Oct 22, 2010 at 09:43 PM
    It is just sick - Rob a House of God.
  • by brock Location: jamesville on Oct 22, 2010 at 05:05 PM
    as an hvac contractor and service tech, this is interesting to me. who ever is doing this knows their way around a unit. may very well be someone that does this type of work. cameras set up with signs showing that they are being used should stop this mess!!!
  • by Dar Location: Wilmar on Oct 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM
    To: Pastor @12:36pm. You can't help someone until they turn themselves or are arrested. Once that happens then the churches could assist these individuals should they repent. From your statement it seems that the thieves should get off scott free ergo, they will not learn there are consequences even when foregiveness is given. The daily walk in life is hard but even harder for a Christian walk & I fall short of the glory of God but I still love him & will never stop trying to be the kind of person God wants me to me BUT I still have consequences even as a Christian. Churches are for the sinners as well as the believers but no where in your statement did you ever mention the word repentence, THAT is the key and then and only then can they start on their chose path with the assistance of loving Christians.
  • by Pastor on Oct 22, 2010 at 09:36 AM
    As a pastor should you not look to help those stealing and welcome them forward to assist them in their chosen path. Then slap them when they come forward. Suprise!
  • by Cocerned Location: HVAC on Oct 22, 2010 at 09:25 AM
    Why punish the honest HVAC contractor? When old units are replaceds they should be allowed to recycle the old ones at the recyclers. Having them stop buying tubing is not the best way to eliminate this problem. There has to be "witnesses" to these thefts because what they are doing takes a little time. People need to take a stand and not be scared to come forward with information.
  • by James Location: New Bern on Oct 22, 2010 at 08:45 AM
    The metal recyclers in the area need to stop buying copper tubing, especially if it's clean refrigerant tubing. The police need insiders or stake outs at these recyclers and track down anyone with coils of copper tubing and maybe the recyclers themselves are involved. Just because someone owns a business, doesn't make them an angel. Most are good people, but there are bad apples in every bunch.
  • by Pastor Location: Beaufort County on Oct 22, 2010 at 04:06 AM
    As the pastor of a church where our AC units were stolen, I asked the church members for a good saying for the church sign. Here are some examples. You can steal our AC but never our joy. It may be cool here, but it will be hot where you are going. With Jesus, life is always cool, why need an AC? I do trust these thieves are caught. It is an implication of a society that is becoming more and more Godless. What they really need is a genuine salvation experience.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 22, 2010 at 12:24 AM
    When they find out who is doing this, and they will eventually, they should also go after the scrap yards or recycling plant that is cashing in on it to. They are not completely unaware of the problem and hopefully the one that is straight will be the one that catches them.

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