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By Jericka Duncan

WOODBURY, N. J. (CBS) – Pastor Tynisha Drennon showed Eyewitness News the bathroom, the kitchen and the basement areas of church property that’s been targeted by copper thieves.

“The first time they just took the copper pipes from the hot water heater,” said Drennon.

The property is owned by Campbell AME Church, which is located next door. Pastor Drennon says they rent the home out and use the income to pay church bills.

Deptford police say the home was hit twice in one week; once at the end of June and again at the beginning of July. That particular time, the removal of certain pipes caused major flooding in the basement.

“That water came all the way up to the second step right here,” said Drennon as she pointed to the basement steps.

“In this tough economy, the way it is right now, people are doing anything they can to try and make money,” said Deptford police chief Dan Murphy. “This scrapping is one thing that’s problematic right now.”

This past weekend chief Murphy says someone stole $20,000 worth of scrap metal from five roof-top air conditioning units in a strip mall on Clements Bridge Road.

“There was a description of a white van that may have had some markings on it that suggested it was a heating and cooling type of van that was seen leaving the area just before the theft,” said chief Murphy.

Back at Campbell AME, the church billboard asks the question, will you rob God? In this case the suspects would answer, yes.
Pastor Drennon says her congregation still has faith.

“We believe that God is still able in the midst of it all,” said Drennon. “Even now we’re praying for whoever did this, that they will have repentance in their heart.”

On July 21st Campbell AME Church will have a car wash fundraising event. Members are trying to raise $1,000 to pay the insurance company deductible.

The church is located at 220 Park Avenue in Woodbury, New Jersey.

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