Thieves swipe A/C unit from Albany church - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thieves swipe A/C unit from Albany church

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September 23, 2007

Albany -- It was a very hot Sunday Service for one south Albany church, thanks to thieves.

Air-conditioner and copper thieves have hit Albany businesses, homes, but now a church.

The Tabernacle of David Worship Center on Holloway Avenue is one of the latest crime victims.

Bishop Carlos McKibben couldn't believe that his church was the latest in string of summertime A/C unit thefts in Albany.

He said, "I came in Friday night just to check in and throw some trash away. I found my unit was gone. I was extremely upset that somebody would steal from the church."

Stolen from a church that for years has given so much back to the community.

"In the seven years that we've been here, we've provided clothing and soup kitchens to the community, trying to give something back," said McKibben.

But even without air conditioning, services went on as scheduled inside the Tabernacle of David Worship Center.

"We're here to praise God," said worshipper Earnest Hall.

Hand held and electric fans were the only means of keeping cool thanks to the person or persons that literally ripped the A/C unit off the backside of the building.

This is one the latest thefts in a rash of A/C thefts to hit Albany. As you can see thieves literally ripped the unit from the back of the church, leaving many to ask why would someone steal from a church?

"We just put that unit in no more than 2 years ago. To have somebody take it from a church, that lets you know they don't care. They don't have a conscious or anything like that," said Hall.

And this has many in the neighborhood concerned.

Ronald Ponder lives in a house directly behind the church. He said, "I think what we have to do in this neighborhood is just simply look out for each other, watch each other's backs, and look out for one another's property as best we can."

But despite these trying circumstances, not all is lost.

"God is still good, and we're going to give him the praise," said McKibben

While the thieves got away with the church's air conditioning, one thing they couldn't steal was the faith from the worshippers.

There is a reward being offered for anyone with information that could lead police to those responsible for the theft.

It will cost the church money to replace the unit.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Albany Police.

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