Stolen AC Unit Parts Forces Wichita Church to Go Virtual

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Stolen air conditioning units are an issue that has impacted churches in Wichita. Thieves steal parts from AC units and leave churches with the cost of repairing the damage.

Copper wiring in AC units is responsible for transporting refrigerant between the condensing unit and the evaporator coil. Without the copper in the units, Sunday service at Dellrose United Methodist Church was not what Reverend Kevass Harding expected.

Harding says, “we had hot Sunday school, hot nursery, and then worship was hot.”

Reverend Harding says the thieves destroyed about 10 of the church’s air conditioning units and stole parts, including copper. Harding immediately called the Wichita police.

“A few of my admins said their air conditioning units were raided. All the copper was stripped from it, cut out,” Harding said. “They had screwed this one up, and between 12:30 p.m. and us being here around 3:30 a.m., they came back and finished that one-off.”

Harding says services will now have to be held virtually.

Harding says, “disappointing because … everyone is getting back in the mood to be together again. So, you know, we used to come to church, and then it was just a great feeling to get back together. Unity being together, and then it happens.

The damage is expected to exceed six figures, which the reverend says is a brutal blow to his church. Wichita police said they have seen an increase in thefts of air conditioning units and copper from church air conditioning units this year.

“We are a working middle class church. We’re not a million dollar budget church, so we have to raise those funds,” Harding said.

If you would like to donate to help the church repair its AC, Click here.

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