Stolen AC unit parts forces Wichita church to go virtual

Dellrose United Methodist Church had copper wiring stolen out of their AC units.
Dellrose United Methodist Church had copper wiring stolen out of their AC units.(KWCH)
Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 8:28 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Stolen AC units are a problem that has impacted churches in Wichita. Thieves are stealing parts from AC units and leaving churches with the cost of fixing the damages.

The copper wiring in the AC units is responsible for carrying the refrigerant between the condensing unit and the evaporator coil. Without the copper in the units, Sunday service at Dellrose United Methodist Church wasn’t what Reverend Kevass Harding expected.

Harding says, “we had hot Sunday school, the nursery hot, and then worship was hot.”

Reverend Harding says thieves destroyed around ten of the church’s air conditioning units and stole parts, including copper. Harding immediately called the Wichita police.

“A couple of my trustees said their a-c units have been raided. All of the copper has been torn out of them, cut out,” said Harding. “They had messed this one up, and between 12:30 a.m. and us being here about 3:30 a.m., they came back and finished this one-off.”

Harding says services will now have to be held virtually.

Harding says, “disappointing because... everyone is getting back in the swing of being back together again. So we were, you know, coming to church, and then it was just a great feeling of coming back together. Unity being together, and then this happens.”

Damages are expected to surpass six figures which the reverend says is a brutal hit to his church. Wichita Police say they have seen increased thefts of AC units and copper from AC units at churches this year.

“We are a working middle-class church. We’re not a million-dollar budget church, so we have to raise those funds,” said Harding.

If you would like to donate to help the church fix their AC, click here.

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