A thief is targeting a Tulsa church over and over again by stealing copper. Church members want people in the neighborhood, and other churches all across our area, to be on the lookout.
Paul Mihos has been a member of Tulsa's Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on South Guthrie for years; he even lives just a couple blocks away. So it pains him to see thieves stealing from the church.
"You know it just kind of hurts the heart," said Mihos.
Other church members, like Jacob Christ, don't like it one bit either.
"Lot of frustration, anger, sad," Christ said.
Over the past few months, thieves have taken copper lines from six air conditioners at the church, and three more at another church building that serves as a kind of community outreach center.
"It breaks your heart, knowing they're targeting something that has been meant to help them. They come along, day, night whatever, and take from it," Mihos said.
Christ said, "It's like you're desecrating the house of God."
The most recent theft happened sometime Tuesday, when thieves clipped the copper line connected to a large freezer just outside the center.
"They do it again, and you want to forgive them, we just want it to stop," said Christ.
Until it stops, the thefts are costing the church time and money. Plus, there's the added worry of what could happen if someone surprises a thief.
They'll add security cameras, and iron fencing on the property.
"It's kind of sad when you have to make God's house look more like a prison just to make sure things are safe," Mihos said.
Church members urge people in the neighborhood, and other churches, to watch out for thieves so they're not in the same situation.
Now, the church is scrambling to get repairs to air condition units done in time for Easter services.
Church members worry if a thief repeatedly steals the copper line connected to their freezer, where they store food for the annual Greek Holiday festival, it could threaten the event, which is Tulsa's oldest ethnic festival.