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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Twice this week thieves break into an Indianapolis church. The smash and grabs took place on Indy’s near southwest side.

Church leaders say the thieves got into a crawl space beneath the church. The crooks left behind torn and twisted metal from the HVAC system.

The business manager at St. Athanasius Byzantine Catholic Church says an alarm on the crawl space went off Monday, but no one noticed the copper lines had been cut until a Wednesday morning church service, which got uncomfortably warm inside the sanctuary.

“We had that at 7 in the morning and father said it was 80 degrees in here,” said John Danovich. “That was the thing that told us something had happened.”

Because the copper wires have been ripped out, the AC units can’t run. On Wednesday the police were called, but after investigators left, the thieves came back and did more damage.

“We noticed these coverings were ripped back and AC coils that sit in there were gone. So we were hit twice, both on Monday night and Wednesday late morning or early afternoon,” said Danovich.

The small church runs a food pantry and often sells pastries for fundraisers to pay their bills. The goal now is to have the AC repaired before this weekend’s service, but it will cost 25 hundred dollars.

John has a message for the thieves, even if no one is ever caught.

“You know we’re all in this together, trying to do the best we can. Please just don’t advantage of other people,” said Danovich.

So far no arrests have been made. Anyone with information on a suspect can contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.