AC unit stolen from York County church

Published: May. 16, 2016 at 8:09 PM EDT|Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 at 5:22 PM EST
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(Michael Clark | WBTV)
(Michael Clark | WBTV)
(Michael Clark | WBTV)
(Michael Clark | WBTV)

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A church is without an air conditioning unit after a weekend theft, and the York County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

The unit, valued at $10,000, was taken from Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church in Hickory Grove. A church member reported that he left the church Saturday after cutting the lawn. When he returned on Sunday before 10 a.m., the air conditioner was gone from the side of the building.

Wires were clipped and the entire unit was removed.

A 4x6 flat trailer used to store a lawnmower was also taken, according to a sheriff's office report.

The church's pastor was disheartened to hear someone stole from a house of worship.

"What you have really done is you've hurt a lot of people here at Mt. Zion," said Frankie Smith.

With summer on the way, Smith said he may have to adjust the church's start time to keep everyone cool.

"One side won't cool, so we'll have to make some adjustments there. We have a lively worship experience and sometimes that air helps us tremendously," Smith said.

There are no cameras at the church, but that is now likely to change.

Smith is encouraging other churches to consider security equipment as an extra set of eyes, but said it's sad that the congregation has to consider the option to curb theft.

"That's one of the commandments - that's one of the big ten," Smith said.

Smith said the church has insurance, but isn't sure what will be covered or when the unit will be replaced. He's more concerned about the person or people who took it.

"Even in the midst of that, we love them, want them to know that we love them, and will encourage them to stop doing that. But there's consequence for wrong doing, and if you continue to do it, sooner or later you're going to get caught," Smith said.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the York County Sheriff's Office or York County Crime Stoppers.

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