A/C stolen from SW Philadelphia church

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Southwest Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia felt the heat, after someone stole one of their central air conditioning units overnight.

Members of the church tell Action News that one of their members arrived Sunday morning to turn on the air conditioning and prepare for their 9:30 a.m. service.

Upon arrival, they soon discovered one of the air conditioning units missing and another damaged.

"It's hard to say if they were taking it for scrap or if they needed it," said Ken Polsz.

The small church only has 26 members and many of them are elderly.

Today, members relied on fans to help them get by.

"We have to pray for them. If they knew how to do better, they would have. We have senior citizens, who needed the air conditioning," said Teddi Velazquez, a member of the church.

Pastor Clayton Ames was prepared to preach, but decided to forego his robe. Instead he opted for two fans behind the pulpit.

"When I was an army chaplain down in Fort Hood, in 117 degrees, we had services in our t-shirts, so it's no big deal," said Pastor Ames.

A normal temperature inside of the tiny church is 72 degrees. With the sweltering temperatures outside, it was at least 88 degrees this morning.

Church officials say that they will talk to their insurance company tomorrow but a replacement unit could cost up to $9,000.

The theft was reported to police, and remains under investigation

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philadelphia, pennsylvania, heat wave, theft, local/state, nora muchanic
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