Burglars Leave Neighbors In Christ Warehouse With Thousands In Damages

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By Catalina Trivino

From Montgomery -- a group that helps crime victims becomes a victim of crime. Authorities say someone burglarized the warehouse of Neighbors in Christ stealing copper and leaving thousands of dollars in damage.

Neighbors in Christ is an organization that helps authorities clean up crime scenes. They also help clothe families and furnish homes for those in need. So everything from clothes to furniture is stuffed inside their warehouse. Because of the damages, about a quarter of all the items in can no longer be used.

Tim Tadlock with Neighbors in Christ came in earlier this week to a flooded warehouse, busted water pipes, a ransacked utility room and an open ceiling.

So what was the burglar looking for?

"One of the main things the suspect was after, he was after copper. And that's a big thing this time of year," Said Crimestoppers spokesperson, Tony Garrett.

Copper taken from the warehouse's airconditioning unit and its utility room. Garrett says as the burglar took the copper, he also busted the water pipes and climbed through a hole. He ended up coming through the roof.

"The suspect came down through, marked the wall, ended up here. A lot of this stuff is stuff that got wet that was in the other hall," Said Tim Tadlock, a victim service coordinator with Neighbors in Christ.

While all the items Neighbors in Christ receives are donated, they're still used to help furnish and clothe those who need it. Now, Tadlock says the damages from the broken water pipes has left them with a quarter of what's in this warehouse to be thrown away.

"The books and all of the curtains and pictures, any kind of paintings or whatever that's been donated, even big ones... they're ruined," Said Tadlock.

It's also left them with at least $7,000 in damages. For an agency facing financial struggle, Tadlock says the additional cost could put them in a bind.

"We can go and do locks and things of that nature, and that's great but we have a lot that we still have to pay for," Said Tadlock.

Garrett says the person who did it has been caught. While their name has not been released, Garrett says canine units were used to capture the burglar.

Garrett also recommends to businesses that they use a cage to cover their air conditioning units and make sure to lock any outside doors to prevent burglars from coming in.

If you'd like to help Neighbors in Christ at 271-3313. You can also send donations to this address: P.O. Box 230190 in Montgomery, 36123.