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article imageWould-be thieves foiled by explosion in attempted Church theft

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By Leigh Goessl     Dec 16, 2012 in Crime
Houston - Last week thieves who had allegedly attempted to rob a Texas church caused an explosion. Their identities are not known, nor is it known if the perpetrators were seriously injured. The whole event was captured on surveillance video.
A couple of unidentified men are suspected in the attempted robbery of the Westway Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. The alleged robbery occurred around 2 a.m. Wednesday when the building's security alarms went off.
“Our security alarms went off at 2 a.m. on Wednesday and that’s when our church member Homer Pate notified the Harris County Sheriff’s department of the robbery,” head deacon Michael Kirtley told ABC News.
It is suspected the men were trying to steal the church's main electrical cable for its copper. The video shows a truck pulling up to the property and one man cutting wires near the street and another cutting wires at the breaker box. The secondary cut led to an explosion, which was also captured in the footage.
“The man just blew up into a fire ball,” Kirtley said. “I surely don’t know if he was electrocuted or even alive.”
According to the Post Chronicle, during an investigation police found evidence the church's power had been cut off and its wires tampered with during the night of the occurrence.
Kirtley told the media the explosion is "likely a sign from God," reported the Chronicle. He suggested the Lord was perhaps giving the thieves "a smack".
Westway Baptist Church is currently without power and have a temporary solution in a generator so they can continue with weekend services.
"We can start the generator for eight hours only to minimize expenses. Our deductible is $5,000. This robbery is going to cost the church a lot," Kirtley said, reported the Christian Post.
The suspects are still at large and authorities are looking for information.
Kirtley asked for medical facilities' aid in helping find those responsible for the explosion at the church, urging them to contact police if anyone with "suspicious burn wounds" show up to receive medical treatment.
This is the third time the church has been the target of theft in recent times. Media reports say Westway Baptist Church was robbed twice last year when air conditioners were stolen.
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