Thieves attempting to break in and rob a church in Houston were thwarted when one of them cut the main electrical line, causing the church to explode.
The thieves were trying to rob the Westway Baptist Church of valuable copper wiring to sell it for scrap, reports ABC News. Instead, when the robbers tried to strip the main electrical wire of copper early Wednesday morning, it set off an explosion and triggered security alarms.
The robbers did not come away with any loot while Westway Baptist Church has to deal with its power being out for the time being. According to head deacon Michael Kirtley, speaking to ABC News, the attempted robbery occurred around 2 a.m., saying “that’s when our church member Homer Pate notified the Harris County Sheriff’s Department of the robbery.”
Surveillance camera footage captured the crime. Two men pull up to the church in a van. One goes to cut off the power, in order to disable alarm systems, while the other moves to the breaker box, located behind the church. As soon as he tries to clip the wires with a wire cutter, a huge explosion occurs and the man is immediately engulfed by sparks. According to Kirtley, “I surely don’t know if he was electrocuted or even alive,” speaking to ABC News.
With its power out, Westway Baptist Church had to cancel some events on Wednesday.
The perpetrators are still at large and have yet to be identified. Kirtley and the church are asking the community to help find and identify them and to contact police if “they encounter someone with suspicious burn wounds,” reports ABC News.
Video of the church explosion is below.