Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen is asking the public’s help in a series of larcenies at churches, where thieves are breaking into the air conditioner units and taking the copper wire.
Sheriff Allen said that his office has received nine such reports over the past 30 days. The thieves are targeting churches out in rural areas. With a few exceptions, these are churches primarily in the western and southern end of the county. “Often the reports come to us on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays and Sundays when the people go to the churches for services,” Allen said. “The larcenies have usually occurred a day or two earlier.”
“The cost of the damage to the units is usually in the thousands of dollars as opposed to the few dollars the thieves get for the copper,” he continued. “We’ve had several people to tell us they saw a vehicle at or near one of these churches as they passed by but thought nothing of it until they heard later about the thefts. We’re asking the public to please call us whenever they see anything suspicious around a church. Call 911 right then. Give us a description of any vehicle or person. Get a tag number if you can but don’t approach these people. If they are desperate enough to steal from a church then they may be dangerous. Let us deal with them.”
Suspicious activity can be reported directly to the Sheriff’s Office at 704-694-4188 or simply call 911. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects.