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Thieves Steal More Than A Dozen Copper Downspouts From Main Line Church

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By Ben Simmoneau

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Wayne, Pa. is a long way from Dr. Seuss’ Whoville. But make no mistake: There was a Grinch in Wayne on Christmas night.

Police say someone ripped off 13 copper downspouts from Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church sometime overnight from Christmas into Monday, December 26th.

“They either ripped it away or made a quick cut to get the metal away from the building,” said Radnor Township Police Corporal Kevin Gallagher. “They knew the metal they were looking for. They got the copper. The aluminum [downspouts] was left behind.”

Church sexton Bob Simpson first discovered the missing downspouts on Monday morning and says he’s disgusted.

“It’s a church. We don’t do anything but help people,” he said.

Father Michael Pearson tells Eyewitness News he believes the theft was planned well in advance. He says the area behind the main church building is usually flooded with light from a neighboring bank parking lot, but sometime over the weekend, it appeared as though someone tampered with some of those lights, because they were out.

He also says the thieves likely targeted the church on Christmas night on purpose.

“They knew very few people would be around,” he said. “They wanted to do it and knew that would be a good time.”

Authorities say there is no cost estimate on the damage, but it will likely be covered by Saint Mary’s insurance company.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Radnor Township Police at 610-668-0503.

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