A parish in Camden has been left out in the heat after six air compressors were stolen this summer.
On July 19, two air compressors, forming the building’s central air cooling, were stolen from St. Bartholomew Church, St. Josephine Bakhita Parish on Kaighn Avenue.
Four days later, on July 24, four of the units were taken from the parish’s St. Joan of Arc Church, on Alabama Ave.
The crime, unsolved, has affected the St. Josephine Bakhita’s 600 parishioners, who have been without air conditioning in the hot summer months of July and August.
Citing his “discomfort” of the thefts, Father Gerard Marable, pastor of St. Josephine Bakhita, called for Camden residents to speak out, to find those responsible.
“We need to make finding these culprits a priority,” he said.
In response to the thefts, the priest printed an open letter to the city’s mayor, attorney general and detectives in his church bulletin. In it he noted that “the church communities of Camden City are the cornerstone of good citizenship for the city.”
“From church buildings much of the good will and good work on behalf of the people of Camden takes place. We feed the hungry, we cloth the naked, we advocate for the voiceless, we collaborate with people and institutions of good will for the benefit of Camden.
He called on officials to “safeguard these places of worship and the citizens who serve the city from there.” He also encouraged his parishioners to contact elected officials and the police about the crime.
A call to the Camden police department was not returned.