Copper wire thief should be thanking God they are alive - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Thieves risk their lives to steal copper wire from church

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outside First Hispanic Church of Cleveland outside First Hispanic Church of Cleveland
inside First Hispanic Church of Cleveland inside First Hispanic Church of Cleveland
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

"Thank you Jesus!!! Hallelujah!"

There is singing and rejoicing on this Sunday morning at the Primera Iglasia Bautista or First Hispanic Church of Cleveland on Denison Avenue. If it weren't for the kerosene heater and darkness in parts of the building - you'd never know that someone just did thousands of dollars worth of damage.

"I was shocked, impressed. I couldn't believe it. Who would do this? Especially to a church?" said Caleb Caraballo, the pastor's son.

Thick copper wiring was cut right off the transformer that delivers electricity to the church.  The building used to house a large grocery store.  The power going to the building is substantial.

The nubs where the copper cable used to be look to be about an inch thick. 

"They are lucky they are not dead," said Jose Robles, the church treasurer.

"They actually ran their vehicle through those gates over there, breaking the chains off, and then they came here breaking the chains on the lock and they stole the copper wire that runs from this box to these three transformers," added Caraballo.

The damage is estimated to be somewhere around 25 thousand dollars. Luckily, this church is insured, but the deductible is somewhere near five thousand dollars. Police are investigating, but so far no leads on who risked their life to make a few bucks scoring some copper wire.

"We pray. The Lord is in control. We pray for the people who did it. The Lord have mercy on them," said Pastor Wilson Caraballo emphatically.  He is the Pastor for Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana.

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