Ector County Officials Investigate Church Burglary

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA--The case has everyone wondering who could have done this and why?  Three air conditioning units, yanked right off the ground.

"Just like the comedian says, sometimes you just can't fix stupid," Sgt. Gary Duesler, with the Ector County Sheriff's Department, said.

Pastor Don Swindell showed up at West Side Christian Church on Wednesday morning to no electricity.  He walked around back to the breaker boxes and realized they had been burglarized, "I can't imagine stealing anything.  I was brought up in an era where you worked, but I have to admit that it's somewhat discouraging that people would steal from the Church."

When the initial shock wore off, Swindell called authorities.

"When we got the call to go out there, of course, we took some photographs of the area.  You just take what evidence is presented to you and try to sort it out," Sgt. Duesler said.

Duesler added, there was very little evidence at the scene, "There were some tire tracks around there.  We don't know how long those tracks have been there."

Swendell says he doesn't condone stealing.  What he finds hard to believe, is that anybody that would consider it, would target a Church.

According to Swindell, the Deputy that took the report offered one possiblity, "The officer informed me that generally they steal them for the copper."

"Anything is an option at this point.  They certainly could go for the copper.  That would be the most lucrative thing in that unit to take," Duesler said.

Not sure when his electricity will be back on, Swindell won't let this dampen his spirit, "It may be pretty warm in our services on Sunday but, God is good and I believe, with all my heart, He'll repay us."

If caught and convicted, those responsible will serve jail time.   Sgt. Duesler says, there's a fine line between stealing and stealing from a Church, "Karma's a bad thing.  They may not get it today.  We may not get them today, but somewhere down the line, they're going to get their's."

If you have any information on this case, call the Ector County Sheriff's Department at 335-3050 or Odessa Crime Stoppers at 333-TIPS.