Copper thieves target church heatpumps

Kineta Knight
Kineta Knight
Jun 21, 2024 |
Opawa Community Church. Supplied / Facebook.

A community church is the latest victim in a spate of copper thefts Christchurch-wide.

The Opawa Community Church, on the corner of Opawa Road and Aynsley Terrace, was targeted on Friday 14th June, with all four heatpumps being stripped of their wiring.

Church minister Rev Craig Fairhall told the theft was not discovered until Monday 17th June as there was no sign of forced entry around the building.

“The thieves got under the hall via a garden and ripped out the wiring and pipes,” Fairhall said.

“Having this theft occur has been incredibly disruptive this week. All of our groups who hire our building have had to source their own portable heaters in order to operate,” he said.

“Our largest hire is a group called Jolt who offer dance and movement to very disabled people. It is often, for some of them, their only outing during a week. The Monday evening and Tuesday day classes were cancelled until they could source adequate heating. All other groups have continued which has been awesome,” he said.

“There will be a monetary cost to the church with increased power consumption and a $2000 insurance excess, which are costs we can hardly afford,” Fairhall said.

“Portable heating will suffice for now until insurance can give us a go ahead to replace. But it is going to add to the electricity bill.”

Anyone with information about this theft can quote police reference number 240618/1629.

Kineta Knight
Kineta Knight

Kineta Knight is a highly experienced journalist based in North Canterbury. She has worked as a reporter for radio, TV, digital and print, as well as an editor of lifestyle magazines in NZ and the UK. Kineta is the Head of Content Development at Chris Lynch Media. Contact: [email protected]

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