Copper thieves targeting homes, churches in Chesterfield

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Copper thieves have targeted two churches in Chesterfield, including one in Bon Air.

Bon Air United Methodist Church on Buford Road is one of two churches hit by copper thieves in the county just this month. The pastor said it's more of an inconvenience than anything else, especially when it rains.

Bon Air United Methodist has a distinct sense of community welcoming people with open arms.

"We pride ourselves as being a 24-7 kind of facility but not in that way," said Pastor Bill Davis.

Two full down spouts and four partial left in the hands of thieves in the late hours of February 10th.

"I imagine they gave it a good jerk and whatever came down, came down," said Davis.

Up until recently, when the skies opened, the down spouts drove the water into drains. In some spots, where they're now missing, water has seeped through the walls.

"Without directing the water the way it should be, you know it goes in can saturate ground floor," said Davis.

Until it gets replacement down spouts, the church is having to use trash cans to collect rain water. One as full from a recent downpour.

The church has already seen some water damage in the classrooms.

Pastor Davis said the crooks don't realize the trickle down effect when all they're looking for is quick cash.

Four days before the Bon Air copper heist, thieves snatched copper pipes from Central Baptist church on Courthouse Road.

In recent months, several homes have been targets too. In those cases, crooks went underneath homes through crawl spaces to reach the scrap metal.

Davis said it wouldn't be cost effective to buy matching copper down spouts as replacements.

"Best to just take down what we have and then replace it with a less desirable metal, shall we say," said Davis.

If you have information that can help police, call Crime Solvers at 748-0660. The pastor tells us police are checking salvage yards for the stolen down spouts.

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