KOKOMO, Ind. – Sunday services at New Hope Church in Kokomo were hotter than normal. In the middle of the heat wave, thieves stole the church’s air conditioning unit.
“They didn’t just simply steal from an individual, they stole from God,” said Mike Sawyer, pastor at New Hope Church.
The AC unit was on the side of the church. Now there’s just an empty platform and cut wire. Sawyer showed up to church on Friday morning, and he knew someone had already been there overnight. Since the unit is so big and heavy, he is certain more than one thief was involved.
“I was not only shocked, I was frustrated and a little bit discouraged,” said Sawyer.
“This was not just a simple, ‘Hey let’s stop there and grab that real quick.’ This was a well thought out plan of what we’re going to do. They knew what they were doing,” said Sawyer.
New Hope Church is right off Old 31, which is the busiest stretch in Kokomo. These thieves didn’t seem to care that drivers passing by could see them stealing the AC unit.
“With the lighting we have surrounding us, it took some great audacity to come and take that AC unit like they did,” said Sawyer.
This is a brand-new unit. The church just installed it last month. Now they’re out at least $4,000 and will have a few warmer services.
“Sunday morning was a little difficult. We handled it well. People at New Hope Church are tough,” said Sawyer.
Sawyer isn’t sure if the thieves wanted the unit for themselves or just to sell it on the streets. Whatever the reason, it’s still a crime.
“We want to offer forgiveness, but forgiveness doesn’t mean that there’s not always consequences to decisions made,” said Pastor Sawyer.
Right on the other side of the brick wall where the air conditioner used to be is the church’s sanctuary. The pastor is reminding these thieves and everyone else, if you need help all you have to do is ask.
“I mean the name of our church is New Hope so we want to provide hope for our community, so that’s what we’re striving to do,” said Sawyer.
The church did file a police report. If you know anything that can help track down these thieves, call Kokomo Police.