By Chinta Strausberg
Rev. Paul Jakes, late Tuesday night confirmed his church, the New Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church, 531 North Kedzie, was vandalized overnight leaving him without electricity and the copper thieves stole.
“I discovered the theft when I came to church today,” he told the Chicago Crusader.
“I saw wires and the destruction of the electrical box. They ripped off the electrical meter just to steal the copper.
Jakes said the cooper had been stripped from the pole. “It was just a mess. There is no power to the church or phone capabilities.
“There are some federal laws on the books that require these metal shops to obtain information from people who bring metal to them.
“If they are not doing this, this disrespect…these thefts will continue.”
Rev. Jakes did make out a police report; however, he wants the police to dust for fingerprints and to find the thieves who violated his holy church.
“It seems there should be some places that are off limits to thieves,” he said. What they did is very disrespectful to the house of God.
“Now because of what they did, I cannot counsel people or take care of the elderly or give food to those who need.
“Just today, there was a young man who lost his mother. He came to the House of God to get some counseling and advice, which I provided but I am doing this in the dark.
“Fortunately, the young man understood. I had a flashlight at the end of my pen and he had a light on his cell phone and together we got through the session.
“But, this is not the way things should operate. What was done to my church was hateful, evil, malicious, and it does not leave a good taste in my mouth at all.
“I am hoping and praying that the police are able to find the person who stole the copper, and we will press charge.
“I urge the police and detectives to find these thieves. We hope and pray the person who did this is caught. It is very inconvenient to have had this happen and that it hampers him from doing God’s work.
“I think these shops that buy copper should start being responsible by recording the identifications of those selling copper to them including how they obtained the metal,” he said.
Rev. Jakes said the theft of the copper places an undue hardship on his church and members.