RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) - A Rio Rancho church has been left in the dark and with what may be a big bill all thanks to metal thieves.
Pastor of the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Ken DeSoto arrived about an hour before Sunday service to find his building completely powerless.
DeSoto says someone ripped two of three lengths of copper wire out from the power supply box to the church.
"I suppose you always wonder, what kind of person would steal from a church?" said DeSoto.
The church believes someone clipped the line at a utility box and the building, then used a rope to pull the wire free. Desoto believes the problem began Friday night, finding evidence that thieves were casing the building.
"We had a meeting and I noticed that the cover on the power supply was ajar," said DeSoto.
Sometime between Saturday after 6 p.m. and Sunday before 7:45 a.m., thieves got away with 120 feet of copper wire which may only be worth about $50 of the scrap market.
The missing wire will likely cost the church a lot more though.
"We have to take a look at our insurance and see what kind of deductible we have," said Desoto.
While the church was able to get through Sunday service with natural light, they're still concerned about the problem of not having any power.
"We have a pre-school that meets Monday through Friday and so there's always a potential that it will affect us adversely," said DeSoto.
There's also worry it could happen again.
"And of course, no church can afford to pay bills because of somebody's stupidity and that's really what we're looking at," said DeSoto.
The church hopes their problem serves as a warning to others in the neighboring community.
"Do know that there are people out here who are willing to steal from a church, they're willing to steal from anybody, "said DeSoto.
The church says an electrician will be there on Monday to hopefully replace the wiring, however, they're not sure how long it will take.
Rio Rancho Police are investigating the case and have dusted for fingerprints at the site, but so far no arrests have been made.
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