Man falls from roof after allegedly stealing copper from church for two days in a row
Updated: Wednesday, April 17 2013, 07:12 PM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A Kalamazoo man is expected to face charges after police say he was caught trying to steal copper wire from a church for the second time in just two days.
In this case the burglar ended up in the hospital instead of behind bars and the church credits a watchful neighbor for ending his crime spree.
“He took off running in their direction and fell between this big brown building,” said Tedarial Edwards, security at Abundant Faith Word Church.
A neighbor was out walking his dog when he saw a man on top of the church. Police say the burglar knew he’d been spotted and tried to make a run for it.
“He fell somewhere down here in this area,” said Edwards, “and it was like he was paralyzed.”
Police say the man had returned to the church for more copper wire after stealing an air-conditioning unit at the church earlier in the week.
“A screw in front here, and one in here,” said Edwards, “someone had to be here for a nice amount of time to unscrew it.”
The church says it has been a repeated target since opening its doors just two years ago.
“Just to know that someone will have to pay and see about their actions is kind of comforting,” said Edwards.
The church has also been tagged with graffiti six times in six months, despite working to help those in the struggling neighborhood.
“We have fed people, given out backpacks and a new car,” said Pastor Amere May.
May says if the burglar had really needed help the church would have stepped in.
“He could have just come to us, we would have opened our pockets,” said May.
Despite doing $50,000 in damage for a sale that would have earned the alleged burglar just $50 to $100, the pastor says his church is moving forward.
“We are to forgive him and let the law handle the lawless,” said May. “We just hope he gets some help for his addictions.”
The alleged burglar is currently in Bronson Hospital in stable condition but badly hurt.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says the man has not been arrested yet because of his injuries, but says the prosecutor should be done with the case by Thursday.
Meanwhile Abundant Life is trying to figure out a way to pay for replacement units.