The bitterly cold weather is not stopping thieves in St. Louis, especially those with a knack for stealing copper. The latest target is a heating unit at a local church.
The rooms inside the Mount Chapel Baptist Church are colder than usual. News 4 discovered the theft has even put small children in danger.
"Man, it's a headache. This is a headache because it is so cold," said Reverend R.M. Fraction.
Rev. Fraction took News 4 out into the cold to show what thieves did late Tuesday night.
"They cut all of the copper out. They took half the coils out and damaged the whole unit. All of the wires were cut," added Rev. Fraction.
The church's heating unit is now a shell.
A good portion of the 4,000 square foot church is cold.
The revered walked News 4 through the church's daycare to get a feel.
"Using the kitchen stove to keep one side of the building warm is not a good idea, but we don't want the pipes to freeze up," said Rev. Fraction.
Most of the heat stays in the hallways. Children in the daycare go where the heat is.
"When the thieves hit the church, it puts a hardship on the church, because the church does not have a lot of income especially this time of year," added Rev. Fraction.
Pastor Fraction is leaning on insurance and planning to tap into whatever funds he can find.
All while keeping something else aside for the thieves.
"First of all, we forgive and are praying for them. But, we ask if anyone has a need, it is best to come to the church and ask. We will share what we have," added Rev. Fraction.
Rev. Fraction told News 4 to help ease concerns about a commercial oven burning all night to keep his church warm, men in his congregation check on the church in shifts overnight.
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