Church Target Of Vandalism And Theft

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TAMAQUA -- A church in Schuylkill County won't be having services this Sunday because of what vandals did to the house of worship.

Pastor Rodney Hall of the Primitive Methodist Church in Tamaqua showed us how vandals stole copper pipes from the church on Hunter Street.

“Seeing if there was any visible copper upstairs, and you can see what they done here, and they knew what they were doing.”

Church officials estimate the damage is about $10,000.

Plumbing crews believe they'll be making repairs for weeks at the church.  Thieves broke into the place earlier this week and made off with most of the building's plumbing system.

“I am sick to my stomach, it's devastating to see the damage,” said church member Rick Clemson.

The vandals also ransacked parts of the church, apparently looking for money.

“I couldn’t believe it, as you can imagine, I couldn't believe it. I was thinking this is a dream,” said Rev. Rodney Hall.

The pastor says freezers were filled with meat for their food pantry. That too was a target for the thieves.

“If you need help with food, just ask somebody, ask a church. Don’t steal. It's not right,” said church member Jill George.

Church officials say there is so much damage that services for this Sunday have been cancelled.

We found some crews mopping up water damage but church officials say the mess could have been worse. The criminals turned off the water main before cutting into the plumbing system. If they hadn't the basement would have filled with water.

“The judgment day will come. The Lord will take care of all of this. Someday they will have to answer for what they did.”

If you have any information about the break-in and theft at the Primitive Methodist Church, Tamaqua police would like to hear from you at 570- 668-5000.