Copper thieves strike First UMC, Modesto over weekend, leaving churchgoers shivering

January 14, 2008

Modesto’s First United Methodist Church held Sunday services without heat last weekend after thieves plundered copper coils from an air conditioning unit and damaged the building’s heating system in the process.


It was about 55 degrees in the Sanctuary, Deanna Salter, chairwoman of the church board of trustees, told Emilie Raguso of The Modesto Bee. She said 200-250 people attended the 10 a.m. service on January 13.


Some of them went out and got blankets from their cars and we cuddled up,” Salter told the Bee. “It was definitely cold. Even the jewelry around my neck was cold.”


It is the third time in three years that the church has been victimized by copper thieves.


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