Copper thieves target Birmingham churches

| November 6, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The Rev. Patrick Sellers, pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Riley, walked through the wrought-iron gate guarding his church's air-conditioning units and a look of exasperation spread across his face.

"You feel very violated," Sellers said, standing next to a heat pump that had been completely dismantled and stripped of copper. "This is our home; it's our place of worship. We feel violated and disrespected."

The copper thieves don't mind targeting a house of God, and churches in western Birmingham have been especially hard hit, he said. The thieves strip out copper and sell it for cash.

After two thefts in June, Mt. Zion Baptist Church put up motion-sensor security lighting and motion-sensor alarms. The weekend of Oct. 29, the thieves found a way around it. "They climbed part of the roofline and got down in," Sellers said.

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Category: Church Security

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