Copper thieves rob school and church twice in 10 days - KMSP-TV

Copper thieves rob school and church twice in 10 days

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

The kids were back in school Friday after the preschool at New Covenant Lutheran church sent 100 children home on Thursday.

Church workers say they found the copper piping stolen.

The water is back on now after it was shut off Thursday.

"Our families had to find other places for their children yesterday because we didn't have running water," said Tammy Pefanis.

"When bad things happen like this, our first reaction is to want to get angry and frustrated," said Patti Kruse.

The church says thieves ripped out their copper pipes -- twice in the past 10 days.

"We had issues of vandalism before we've had doors painted, break-ins, laptops stolen," said Kruse.

PVC pipes have replaced the copper ones now -- at a cost of $3,000.

Workers say the cages protecting the pipes was torn out, so the thieves could get to the copper.

The church wasn't the only victim.  A nearby apartment complex lost water while crews fixed the problem.

"The apartments across the street were down, we know from a vendor that one of the businesses just down the street was hit," said Pefanis.

Now there may be a break in the case.

"We were told they actually caught somebody last night.  We haven't confirmed it yet, but we were told they had one of our valves," added Pefanis.

Now the children and the workers are drumming up some love and forgiveness, saying the thieves need their prayers.

"We also need to pray for these people that caused us hardship at the church and the preschool," said Kruse.

The church estimates the copper thieves probably stole about $50 worth of metal.  Not much, especially compared to the repair bill.

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