HESPERIA Members of the Faith Lutheran Church congregation were shocked when they learned someone had stolen the aluminum from two of their three air conditioning and heating units.


"We're praying that God goes into their hearts and changes their hearts," said Sarah Vogel, secretary for the church. "It's desperate times for people."


Church surveillance video shows that at about 2 a.m. Wednesday a vehicle pulled up behind the church located in the 9600 block of Seventh Avenue, Vogel said.


"We can't even see what kind of vehicle it is since the church lights were not on," Vogel said. "But we can see the car pull up and shut off its lights."


San Bernardino County Sheriff's Hesperia station officials are investigating the case.


Two of the four units were vandalized and, according to church member Barbara Bell, it appears they were trying to get into a third. Currently two units are still operational, Vogel said.


According to church officials, the thieves made off with the aluminum in the units but left the copper behind.


The cost to replace the damaged units could be about $9,000, officials said, but Vogel hopes the units can be repaired.


"If we can have them fixed it may only be about $1,000 but if we replace them at about $4,500 a piece it will be a lot more," she said.


A description of the thieves was not available.


Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Hesperia station at (760) 947-1500 or call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.


Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at (760) 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.