POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -
"Sunday was a very hot Sunday," said Pastor James Edward Smith. "I came in and the church was hot, so first thing for me to do was check the air conditioners. They were running on the inside. When I came on the outside to check -- as you can see, it was gone."
Smith found the entire unit stripped from its core. The breaker box was also tampered with.
"Because the air conditioners were on, they had to try to turn them off. I guess they didn't want to get electrocuted," he said.
A galvanized gate secured the outdoor air conditioning unit to deter thieves.
"I guess they clipped the bottom to get around it," said Edwards.
"They need the Lord and may be they'll stop. They won't get to heaven doing this," said Flora Mae Latham, a parishioner.
"We work really hard to get what we have, nice things but they work to get them," said Edwards. "But for someone to just come and take it, I mean from a church out of all places -- stealing from a church -- so I pray for those who took it."
The Broward Sheriff's Office said there had been a string of wire copper-related burglaries in the area.
Copyright 2013 by Local10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.