Thefts leave businesses in the cold

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BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - The Rock of Ages Chapel is a small little Berea wedding spot with a big problem.

"I don't imagine our insurance company will be too happy to hear from us again," said Joyce Sulfridge, who runs the chapel with her mother.

Sulfridge says just this morning they found that thieves ripped off the wedding chapel's two heating and air units. However, this isn't the first time it's happened to the Rock of Ages.

"They were stolen December 2010 and replaced in March and April of 2011, and then stolen again last night," recalled Sulfridge, "The first time they stole four and we replaced two, this time they stole two because the other two haven't been put back."

The chapel even tried to secure the replacement units by building wooden cages around them and placing wire fencing over the top.

Sulfridge says they were hoping that would discourage any thieves, "but it didn't. They just knocked those boards down and took everything."

While these wooden cages weren't enough to stop the thieves at the wedding chapel. Police say they're not alone, they have four cases like this in three days.

"Some local businesses and a private residence, here," described Sgt. Jake Reed, of the Berea Police Department. "We think they're using them, and taking them off for scrap metal, for the copper."

"I'd say the two units were around $11-12,000," figured Sulfridge.

More than the money lost on the damages, it's also affecting the Rock of Ages' business after a bride and groom had to take their party elsewhere after their vows today.

"It's making it hard on small businesses."

Leaving this chapel and others in the cold.

Berea Police say they are checking scrap yards and are asking the community to keep an eye out for anyone suspicious around these heating and cooling units.

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