WEST JORDAN, Utah – Police are searching for suspects after four air conditioning units were stolen from a small church in West Jordan.
The theft occurred at Iglesia Bauptista La Victoria, which is a church housed in an old office building on 3200 West near 7600 South.
Pastor Jose Chargoy said they are fairly new to the area.
"We're a small congregation, a Christian congregation, and we started here in West Jordan about a year ago,” he said.
Chargoy and his family make up about a quarter of the congregation, and they gather here twice a week. The chapel isn't fancy, but Chragoy said it served as an intimate setting for his mainly Spanish-speaking flock. He also said it was cool, until two weeks ago.
"They stole not one, two or three; they stole four of the air conditioners that we have here in the church,” he said.
The thieves backed a vehicle down a slope and used it to rip the air conditioning units right off of their foundations.
Sgt. Joe Monson, West Jordan Police Department, said the thieves were likely after metals inside the units, which can be resold as scrap.
"Thousands of dollars worth of damage for somebody to turn around and recycle the metals in them, or whatever, for...pennies,” he said.
Chargoy said with temperatures often reaching above 100 degrees, the loss of the units is a big problem.
“It's going to be a little hard on the congregation, especially the little kids,” he said.
Chargoy said the estimated $3,000 it would take to replace the units may not be something they can afford.
"And for us it's a real big, huge challenge to try and recover that,” he said.
Chargoy said they are hoping the kindness of strangers will come to their rescue.
"If somebody wants to help, we can provide receipts for tax deductions or whatever, but what we're looking for is a little bit of help, yes,” he said.
And Chargoy said he has a message for the thieves.
"We still love them, we still love the people, just as the lord says, and we'll be praying for them,” he said.
The church has set up an account at Wells Fargo under the name Iglesia Bauptista La Victoria for those who wish to help.
Anyone with information regarding the burglary is encouraged to contact West Jordan Police. Thieves also stole an A/C unit from a nearby chapel owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.