Laurel County churches react to theft arrests

By: Samantha Saracino Email
By: Samantha Saracino Email

Justice is finally being served after a rash of heating unit robberies in Laurel County. The thefts left a few churches out in the cold for about two weeks. The Laurel County sheriff's department made the third arrest on friday, allowing these church communities to sleep a little better at night.

28 year old Matthew R. Woods is now the third person behind bars after the recent thefts of heating units from two Laurel County churches; Soul's Harbor Church and New Harvest Church.

"We're praying for them. We hope they'll find some help and get their lives straightened out where they can be a real asset to our community," said Pastor Ball from Soul's Harbour Church.

"We don't want to bash them, we just want to pray for them," said Pastor Randy Miller from New Harvest Church.

Despite their forgiving attitudes, both pastors say the situation has been an inconvenience. At New Harvest, 3 of their 5 heating units were stolen--about a 20 thousand dollar set back for the church. At Soul's Harbor, 1 of their 14 units was also stolen.

"We didn't have to cancel and services. It could have been a lot worse," Pastor Ball said.

"We're looking forward to getting them back and replaced so we can operate as normal," said Pastor Miller.

But life back to normal comes with a price tag.

"We have had made some changes with surveillance and security to keep and eye on our parking lots when we're away now, and our building," said Ball.

Pastor Miller from New Harvest says they have also discussed upping their security as well. Both churches are in the process of getting their new heating units installed.

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