MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – The offering plate at Citadel of Deliverance COGIC on East Shelby Drive may take an extra lap this Sunday. The congregation needs to pay for repairs on three fairly new air conditioning units.
"We're looking at right now around close to 20 thousand dollars," said Pastor Linwood Dillard.
Dillard discovered the damage which consists of holes punched into each unit so Freon could be removed. Repairmen at the church Friday figured the crooks were going to swipe the copper before they were apparently scared away.
"Did enough damage to make the units inoperable," said Dillard.
In addition to repairing the damaged units, the church plans to build a wrought iron fence to better protect them in the future.
"What it says to me is there are individuals who don't regard God or any other person," said Pastor Dillard.
Dillard's church was not the only one dealing with vandals this week. Three others were also hit within a four-day period. Most of them were in Memphis. One was in Millington.
A church in the Boxtown community of Southwest Memphis had its heating and air unit damaged to the tune of some $10 thousand. A meter box was destroyed at another church off Jackson Avenue.
Investigators are not yet sure if any of the crimes are possibly connected.
"Of course, I've already forgiven them in my heart," said Pastor Dillard. "And we're going to put it behind us and keep moving forward, and try to safeguard what we have."
Anyone with information on the vandalisms should call Crime-Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.