Fort Worth

Thief Steals Wiring, But Not Hope, of Fort Worth Church

A man stole the metal on March 30

On a sunny Palm Sunday, a joyous procession of people, music, banners -- even a live donkey -- made its way inside St. Timothy Anglican Catholic Church in Fort Worth.

It is a happy day after all, signaling that Easter -- the holiest of days in the Christian faith -- is near.

But what may not have been obvious during the display is that the church has had to overcome a lot in the past two weeks to get there.

"There are forces against us, but we just have to keep moving forward," said Larry Reinmuth, who works at the church.

On March 30, a man came to the church in the middle of the day -- and after making sure no one else was around, cut off power to the entire building.

The church's surveillance cameras captured him climbing onto the roof, then stripping and stealing all of the metal power lines leading into the building before driving off.

"There's got to be some form of severe desperation," said Gary Fezzey, who also works at the church. "Someone who's scheming at a level that most of the general population doesn't."

It's not the first time thieves have targeted the church. Wiring from other parts of the building and items from the altar have also been stolen in recent years.

Church leaders have upgraded their security system since those initial thefts -- which is why it's even more disheartening that it's happened again.

"For the amount of money they're getting out of this -- it's just ridiculous," Reinmuth said. "It's scrap metal value for them, where to us, it's really meaningful."

The lines have since been replaced. And after two weeks of church services by candlelight, the power is back on.

While they hope someone recognizes the man so police can catch him, they're determined not to let this incident distract from what's most important.

"We press on," Fezzey said. "We know our mission here."

Anyone with information is urged to call Fort Worth police.

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