Phoenix church officials frustrated after thieves stole copper pipes from its AC unit

Imagine not having air conditioning in this heat. That is what one church in Phoenix is dealing with, after thieves cut out the copper pipes in their system.

Church officials say it is going to costs them thousands of dollars to replace.

"Our sanctuary has two large units. Both will need to be replaced," said Pastor Karn Carroll.

The Our Saviors Lutheran Church is trying to figure out their next step. 

"This is really tragic," said Carroll. "It is too bad. We live in Phoenix. We are an older congregation. We rely on air conditioning to be comfortable."

On Saturday, church officials investigated after their AC had gone out, and they found the broken pipes, with debris left behind and no wiring left in either of their major systems to power the church.

"It is disappointing because of what we have been taught by police officers and AC folks," said Carroll. "The amount of money someone would get by taking this copper is so minimal, for $50 to $74."

This isn't the first time church officials have had to replace their air conditioning systems. Six years ago, vandals stole copper pipes on the other side of the building. After spending money to replace the pipes, the church also investigated in cages to make sure it wouldn't happen again. Vandals, however, found their way to their other systems that weren't caged.

While church officials are frustrated, they want the people responsible to come forward because they want to help them.

"We would much rather have them come, talk to us, what is their need, how can we as a church help," said Carroll. "We want to help people instead of being taken advantage of." 

Church officials say it is going to take them several weeks to fix the damage. In the meantime, they say people are coming to church in their flip flops and shorts to stay cool.