• Memphis pastor has had enough after 5 break-ins in 45 days cost church thousands in damages

    By: Tony Atkins


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After five break-ins in 45 days, one Memphis pastor said he has had enough. 

    Pastor Donald Small, of the Clyde Avenue Baptist Church in New Chicago, said his church has been targeted time and time again. 

    An elusive thief was caught on camera jumping and cutting through fences searching for valuable copper. 

    Small told FOX13 the thief also made off with an AC unit and copper wiring. He also damaged the church’s electric meters trying to disable security cameras.

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    The thief is selling the stolen AC units and copper wire back on the black market. 

    Small said the break-ins have been costly, totaling around $21,000 for damages and repairs.

    Now, the remaining AC units in the church are secure. New security measures are in place and that hole the thief got through is now re-fenced with barb wire. 

    “We had to secure this unit with an iron cage. We had to do it rapidly,” Small said.  

    After more than 50 years of being a beacon of positivity in New Chicago, Small said it hurts to see his congregation take such a substantial hit. 

    “It’s a bad situation when human beings have degraded to such a level where they would destroy church property, when we’re trying to be a beacon of light,” Small said.  

    The church has put out a $2,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest.

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