UPDATE 3/17: Four people were arrested on March 16 in connection with the thefts of air conditioning units and other property stolen for the purpose of disassembly and sale to scrap yards, police said.
John Anthony Edwards, Amy Christine Spencer and Jason Eric Sawyer are each charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property with intent to sell. Jennifer Lynn Gibson is charged with possession of stolen property with intent to sell.
Police say all of the suspects lived at the 8900 block of Colonial Trail in Surry County at the time of the thefts.
According to police, none of the stolen property has been recovered.
Police continue to search for the thieves who stole copper pipes from St. Luke's Church.
ISLE OF WIGHT -- Thieves have recently been targeting local Isle of Wight churches to steal scrap metal, officials said Thursday.
According to Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Rick Gaddis, scrap metal theft and subsequent sale to scrap dealers is a longstanding regional problem.
Gaddis says between December 1 and 8, outside heating and air-conditioning units were stolen from Union Bethel AME Church and Mill Swamp Baptist Church.
Copper drain pipes worth $12,000 were also stolen between December 12 and 13 from historic St. Luke’s Church. The church went through a $500,000 restoration last year, which included the 6 copper pipes that were stolen.
Authorities believe the thefts are happening during the evening and at night when churches are not occupied.
All three cases are pending investigation.
If you know the identity of these thieves, or can identify scrap metal dealers who knowingly
purchase stolen property, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.