Man steals $12K in copper piping from church in Southwest Philadelphia

SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police are searching for a thief who stole nearly $12,000 in copper piping and plumbing fixtures from a church in Southwest Philadelphia in two separate burglaries.

The first burglary happened back on December 13.

The suspect was caught on surveillance video at 4 a.m. jumping over a fence and breaking into the Straight Gate Church located at 6000 Elmwood Avenue.

About an hour later, he is seen leaving the property carrying two large bags full of copper piping and plumbing fixtures worth $3,500.

He fled east on Elmwood avenue in a black SUV..

VIDEO: Click here to watch the surveillance video

The thief then returned to the same church on January 25 at 7:30 a m.

Once again he can be seen climbing over the fence and breaking in through a side window.

After spending an hour inside the church, the thief is spotted dragging out a large plastic trash can full of the brand new copper piping and fixtures worth $8,000.

He knocks over a construction fence while making his escape and fled the scene in a dark-colored Lincoln SUV heading west on Elmwood Avenue.

Police describe the suspect as a black male, 35 years-old with a light complexion and light facial hair. He was wearing a black winter coverall with white trim, black winter hat, black gloves and black/white sneakers.

If you have any information on this burglary, call police at 215.686.TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP (773847).

All tips will remain confidential.

VIDEO: Click here to watch the surveillance video
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