Thieves steal from multiple churches in Bradley County - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Thieves steal from multiple churches in Bradley County

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UPDATE: The Bradley County Sheriff's Office, up to $500, for information leading to the arrests and conviction of those involved in the recent thefts of air conditioning equipment at Covenant Baptist Church, Union Grove Church of Christ, Cedar Springs Baptist Church, and Thompson Springs Baptist Church.  

The loses now total over $20,000.

Anyone with information about these crimes should contact the Bradley County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division by calling (423) 728-7336. Tips may also be left anonymously.

If you see suspicious activity around any churches during off times, the Sheriff's Office asks you to call 911.


PREVIOUS STORY: Authorities in Bradley County are searching for thieves who have stolen multiple heating and air units from area churches. A new heating and air unit is installed at Thompson Springs Baptist Church Tuesday. 

Someone stole their last week and authorities say it didn't stop there. Just a few miles down the road, Cedar Springs Baptist Church also has a brand new unit after theirs was stolen around the same time.

A few miles in the other direction three concrete slabs are all that's left at Union Grove Church of Christ after thieves got away with three units. "I feel sorry for these people cause anytime that you steal from God, you're gonna have to pay for it here or here after," Union Grove church elder, Bill Casteel says.

Neighbors called Casteel to the church initially because they smelled gas. It turns out the thieves cut the copper wire on nearby propane tank before turning to the HVAC units. "Never ending that someone would have the audacity to steal from God," Casteel says.

The Bradley County Sheriff's office believes whoever is doing this is selling to scrap metal dealers, most likely not in the area. "You have facilities that are used at certain times during the week and obviously thieves know that," Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesman, Bob Gault says.

Casteel hopes faith will lead the suspects in the right direction.

"We want to see them go to Heaven, and they got to repent. This is totally a sin and it will send them to Hell," Casteel says.

The sheriff's office believes whoever hit these churches may be targeting buildings in surrounding counties. If you have any information or see anything suspicious, contact your local law enforcement right away.

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