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Air conditioner stolen from church again

Posted at 10:48 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 22:48:45-04

IMMOKALEE, Fla.- For the second time since December,a Collier County church had it's air conditioning unit stolen. Thieves struck a building adjacent to the First United Methodist Church of Immokalee on May 7th.

"I can't believe somebody would do that to any charity, but especially to a church," said Pastor Thom Street.

The air conditioner is worth about $3,800 and cools "Noah's Attic," a non-profit that collects and distributes clothing donations.

"I don't think Jesus would have warned anyone about stealing an air conditioner," said Street.

He decided to channel his frustration by changing the marquee in front of his church to read: "Dear AC thieves, you will need AC where you're going."

"What else are you going to do? you got to laugh at it a little bit or else it will drive you crazy."

Adding insult to injury, the church received surveillance cameras a day after the thieves struck.

"It's really upsetting because it doesn't affect us as a whole, it affects the people who needed it, who needed Noah's Attic to be there," said Sophonie Seneu, who volunteers at the church.

The clothing they help give out could spoil in the hot, sticky conditions.

"Eventually, they will mildew and mold, and they won't be any good anymore," said Street.

Despite his frustration, Street is glad the sign is attracting attention and he looks forward to continuing the dialogue.

"It's going to be kind of an ongoing one way conversation with whoever took the air conditioner, I'll be changing the sign up as we go along."

Street doesn't know what the message will say except that it will have a forgiving tone. He says he may drop charges against those who stole the air conditioner, if they voluntarily return it.