Copper stolen from south side church
WTMJ News Team
Steve Chamraz reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE- Copper thefts are not uncommon in Milwaukee, but a thief -- or thieves -- targeted a church on the city's south side.
The dean of Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral has a message for whomever did this to his beloved building: The police are only half your problem.
"First of all, it is great sin to damage temple..." said Father Dragan Veleusic.
It is a sin to creep up to a 75-year-old house of worship -- and rip down copper downspouts. Presumably -- to sell for scrap.
Whoever did this clearly knew what they were doing, because one side of the cathedral was left untouched. Because that is the side that's watched by a camera.
"That says something pretty desperate..." said parishioner Dara Sever.
Sever is just learning about the theft Thursday, though the downspouts have been gone about a week.
"If they did it out of desperation, if they're hungry or that poor... But if it was for any other ill intended means, I hope they return it," said Sever.
Father Dragan is convinced the gutters are long gone. The church has insurance, but the deductible is $2,500 -- far more than the profit from this crime.
Church leaders have a pretty drastic plan to keep thieves away. All the remaining copper gutters will be coming down -- replaced with aluminum, painted copper green.