Copper Thieves Have No Respect For Forrest City, AR Church

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(Forrest City, AR) Copper thieves in Forrest City, Arkansas vandalize a local church and leave the congregation to rely on their faith and police for justice.

Church members at New Jerusalem M.B.Church will have to pray in the cold after someone stole copper tubing from their propane storage tank, as well as three heating and a/c units.

Rainey Stewart, a board member at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, has a stern warning for whoever stole the copper,

"Young man or young lady, God has your number. It's gonna come a day that you're going to have to give an account for this."

The copper was ripped away from three a/c units, and two propane tanks.

And Rainey Stewart says thieves would have needed a ladder to get copper from near the top of the building.

He figures there's three to four thousand dollars in damage,

"They just figure there's something in there that they could get, they could use, they could pawn and make them some easy money."

The thefts happened sometime after Sunday services and before Wednesday night's bible study,

"And the pastor, he normally comes 30 to 40 minutes earlier to warm the church. And we noticed when he cut the unit on, he wasn't getting no heat."

Two months ago someone stole a small amount of copper, but church leaders didn't think anyone would be bold enough to return.

So Friday morning Rainey Stewart met with an alarm company to discuss a new security system.

He says it's an unplanned expense for the 60-member congregation, which just finished paying off New Jerusalem's mortgage,

"But apparently we gonna have to come back and either make a loan to go and do this, but we gonna have to do it. Because we're sittin' in an area where it's gonna happen again if we don't."

Anyone with information on who stole copper from New Jerusalem M.B.Church is urged to call Forrest City Crimestoppers at (870) 261-1499.