Copper stolen from church roof — three times in six days

He also blamed the police for not taking action when he had opened a case after the first incident.

“Why don’t the police not have ample time to deal with these things? It started last week but we don’t have an answer from the police. This whole area is out of control; it’s hijackings, armed robberies, theft. It’s anarchy really,” said Elsworth.

The thieves have also stolen copper from the top of the lower drains on the walls of the church’s historic building, which was built in 1939.

The church has served the community for over 145 years.

But thieves have become so brazen that church members are forced to take their handbags with them when they go for communion for fear of them being stolen.

Police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele confirmed that a group of unknown people broke into the church on Wednesday last week and damaged electrical wires, a switch box and lights. The electrical wires were pulled out from the pipes and taken.

She said a cases of malicious damage to property and theft were opened at the Umbilo police station for investigation.

Places of worship have become soft targets for criminals.

Last month R50,000 was stolen during a church service in Phoenix, north of Durban, when men armed with AK47s and pistols stormed the church just before midday.

Ten pastors, who were holding a prayer, were told to lie down on the floor, while the heavily armed robbers stole their personal items which included cellphones, wallets, jewellery and cash.

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