Thieves cause $200K worth of Damage to Church Air Conditions


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Thieves Cause $200K Worth Of Damage To Church Air Conditions

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The pandemic has pushed some people to desperation and even crime.

That's what a local church believes has led to thieves stealing from the congregation, leaving behind a trail of destruction in the process and causing more than $200,000 worth of damage.

For the past view months, Memorial Church International off Hickman Mills Drive has been trying to help the community through the pandemic both spiritually and physically. Their lot has even frequently been a COVID-19 testing location.

However, sometime over the past few weeks, someone went through a lot of trouble to steal something all the way up on the roof.

Drive-in services have been a saving grace for Memorial Church International this summer.

“Our congregation has responded tremendously,” said Bishop Larry Aiken. “It's been exciting.”

Aiken has been leading services from outside for months, which is why the church missed something that was happening on top of the church.

Reuben King is a deacon at the church and maintains the building. A few days ago he noticed something dripping down into the unused fellowship hall.

“It had rained earlier in the week, but it wasn't raining now,” King recalled.

It was not rain. Someone had climbed up to the roof from the outside and stripped the copper out of more than 10 rooftop air conditioning units.

“They tore the coils out of that,” said King. “They damaged the pipes here. Cut all the wires there.”

King believes the metal they took could fetch around a thousand dollars at a scrapper.

“The sad thing is, they could have just asked and we would have helped them,” King said.

However, the damage to the air conditioning units will likely total around $200,000.

“There are some people who just are set to destroy what other people have,” Bishop Aiken said.

Now, the church is going through surveillance video from the past few weeks. Aiken wants to find the lost souls who did this.

“I forgive them already,” he said.

He fears they may be on a path to a place where they'll need air conditioning a lot more than his church.

“Whoever did this… I want to see you this Sunday,” he said.

Police are also investigating this, but officers don't know whether this is related to any other thefts in the area.

Tonight, the church is getting ready to host an outdoor movie on the projector and they'll be back out for a drive-in service on Sunday. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

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