Copper wire thieves that have hit the Fresno area hard in recent months have found a new target -- a local church.
More than $5,000 worth of copper wire was stolen from air conditioners at Fresno First Baptist Church.
When the church's pastor, Joseph Basile, heard what happened, his first reaction was to not panic.
"It was a big shock," Basile said. "This isn't visible from the street. We've secured this area and thought we did a good job securing this area."
However, Basile says the stolen copper wire will be noticeable during church services, especially this summer.
But he says he is looking at the big picture.
"Personally I'm going to make it spiritual and I just feel that there are forces at work trying to stop us and it's not going to stop us. It's not," he said. "God's going to keep doing great things. It might be a little warmer than they normally are. But this isn't going to stop us."
He said the thieves would be forgiven.
"If they came here, they'd be forgiven, they'd be loved. They'd be welcomed into our community," Basile said. "And if that's what God uses to bring them into our place, they watch this broadcast and see that they've stolen from us, I want them to realize, they can be forgiven."
Basile says the church will take more measures to protect its copper wire in the future.