HVAC heists on the rise at churches

WINNSBORO – Thefts of HVAC units from area churches are on the rise, according to Major Brad Douglas of the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Many of these thefts have occurred at churches in rural areas of the county. The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office is supplementing patrol shifts to increase security checks of the county’s 140 churches throughout the day and night, Douglas said in a statement released Friday.

“We are asking the public to be very vigilant of church facilities,” Douglas said. “If you see any suspicious persons and/or vehicles at any time at churches, contact the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office at 803-635-5511 or call 911 if there is reason to think a crime is in progress.

“We consider our churches to be very important community partners, and we want to prevent any more of these thefts from occurring,” Sheriff Will Montgomery said.

“Additionally, we want to identify any suspects in these crimes. We ask that everyone pay careful attention to churches when they travel past them. If any suspicious activity is observed, call 803-635-4141.”