Eric Frein in Custody

Theft at Schuylkill Haven Church

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — Police in Schuylkill County are looking at surveillance video to see if it can help them find some thieves. Someone stole copper downspouts from a historic church in Schuylkill Haven.

Some members of St. John’s United Church of Christ are fixing up the basement area of the house of worship in Schuylkill Haven. However, Tim and Sue Gipe can`t help but think about a recent theft from their church.

“We’re here to help the community, we’re here to help people, and to think that someone would steal from us, we would gladly help anyone in the community. It’s really sad,” explained Sue Gipe.

Tim Gipe said he hopes police find some suspects.

“I think we need to send a message to the community that you can’t take advantage of the church. The church is here to help people but we don’t want to be taken advantage either,” said Gipe.

There is something missing from the outside of St. John`s: about 60 feet of copper downspouts, taken by thieves apparently looking to sell the metal for cash.

Pastor Janet Lewis said she wonders if some are turning to crime because of the economy.

“We think of the church as God’s house and we take good care of it and that someone would vandalize God’s house, and like they said too, people are desperate today,” said Lewis.

Police Chief Jeff Walcott said that`s no excuse. Theft is theft.

“With the review of some surveillance footage, hopefully we can develop some leads and identify the individuals that are responsible for this act,” said Walcott.

Copper is a valuable commodity. It goes on average for about $2.50 a pound. If you know anything about the theft call Schuylkill Haven police.

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