House of worship hit by thieves

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The fact it was a house of worship didn't stop a pair of thieves from trying to steal from it.

Police say Torik Pipkin and another man tried to steal a large air conditioning unit from Mars Hill Baptist Church on West Shelby Drive and did about $2,000 damage in the process.

A witness told police early Tuesday he watched as two men removed the AC unit from the side of the church with bolt cutters and then tried to load it inside a Cadillac.

A woman who lives across of the street is glad they didn't get what they were after.

"I  heard when the freon escaped from over there, but I didn't know where it was coming from because I didn't know where the noise was until I looked out and I figure out and I saw the AC laying out there in the street," said Sandra Echols.

Police said thanks to man who witnessed the crime they were able to locate Pipkin at his home in the 5000 block of Stacey.

They say Pipkin was driving that Cadillac and there was a bolt cutter underneath his seat.

Family members told us Pipkin didn't  have anything to do with the crime.

Echols, who had her own AC unit stolen earlier this year,  can't believe anyone would steal from a church.

A church is a place you go when you got nothing, but when you go and take from a church.  It's sad," said Echols.

The church was able to repair the AC unit and is just hoping it gets them through the summer.

Pipkin is facing charges of theft and vandalism.

Police say he was also driving with a revoked license for DUI.



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