Two Dorr Street churches are increasing security after thieves have struck multiple times.
Jackie Robinson was sitting outside Braden United Methodist Church early Tuesday morning in hopes that she might spot anyone responsible for stealing copper gutters from the church in South Toledo.
She spotted the bandits loading gutters into the back of a dark-colored vehicle.
She called police and then watched as the thieves drove off before police arrived at the scene at 4725 Dorr St.
Ms. Robinson, 58, chairman of the church trustees, said the church has been hit four times in the past week.
“All it does is create a hardship for the church and we end up using money that we could use in the neighborhood,” she said.
The day before, the Rev. Donald Perryman was dealing with another theft at the Center of Hope Baptist Church, 1656 Dorr St.
At about 9:30 a.m. Monday, an alarm sounded at the church in Toledo’s central city.
When Mr. Perryman arrived, he found the air conditioner was gone.
“We’ve been through this several times,” he said. “This is probably the fourth time.”
The minister said the thefts are “a sign of the times” and that the thief is probably looking for fast cash for a quick fix of drugs.
“This can happen anywhere,” Mr. Perryman said. “We made a conscious decision that we are going to be located in the inner city and bring hope and change to the inner city of Toledo. We’re going to stay here.”
Mr. Perryman and Ms. Robinson said their respective churches will take steps to further protect themselves from thieves.
Center of Hope already has a security system, which captured images of two people making off with the air- conditioning unit.
The church plans to augment the camera system with a security cage around the air-conditioning unit.
Braden United Methodist plans extra security too.
“We can’t have the damage keep happening,” Ms. Robinson said. “This is going to be an expensive fix.”
Police do not believe the incidents are related. They ask that anyone with information call the Crime Stopper program at 419-255-1111. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.