Copper thief strikes at Delco church

October 11, 2012 4:01:25 PM PDT
Haverford Township police are searching for a copper thief who struck yesterday at the Trinity Lutheran Church, pulling down six large sections of copper downspouts.

The thief struck in broad daylight moments after the nursery school drop-off ended and the kids and teachers were all inside.

Surveillance cameras, however, caught him in the act.

"He just parked the car, ripped down the rainspouts. I could have looked out the window and seen him," Janet Carlin of the Trinity Lutheran Church said.

The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s, 6' tall, with a large tattoo on his right arm.

Long pieces of copper downspouts generally cost up to $600 a piece.

The church will replace them with aluminum which are far cheaper.

Copper is expensive and brings a big fast cash price at scrap yards that don't ask any questions.

Though, some do.

Police point to Accurate Recycling Center in Upper Darby as an example of an aboveboard operation.

"A lot of places these days take identification so they know who was turning in the scrap metal, if when we need to do our follow-ups," Haverford Township Police Sgt. Shant Bedrossian said.

The Trinity Lutheran Church is 110 years old. It has never been vandalized like this before.

Despite the wrong that's been done to them by this copper bandit, officials at the church are prepared to forgive his sins.

"Maybe he was hungry, maybe he has other reasons, but whatever they are, we forgive and we hope he makes restitution. That would be nice," Carlin said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 610-853-1298.


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