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Minister protects church from copper thieves
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The Salem United Methodist Church might have received some help from the man upstairs when the minister helped capture two would be thieves.

On Nov. 29, at around 2:15 p.m., the minister at the church found the electric meter box open at a parsonage on the church property.

 As he entered the house, the minister reportedly heard sawing and banging noises coming from the basement just under the hot water heater.

After calling the church office to have them call 911, the minister walked to the rear of the house where he found the crawl space door open.

 Travis Law, 22, then reportedly exited the crawl space door while talking on a cell phone. When asked what he was doing, Law reportedly told the minister he was looking to rent the house.

The two men continued to talk about the house until the Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived on scene and arrested Law. With the suspect in custody, the law enforcement officials yelled for anyone else under the house to come out. When no one responded, the deputy and lieutenant entered the crawl space and spotted another suspect, Jack Law, who was reportedly attempting to hide from the officers.

After arresting Jack Law, 24, the deputy surveyed the area under the house and noticed a pile of copper pipes which had been cut from the house. The deputy then entered the house and found holes in the ceiling where several of the electrical wires had been removed.

Travis and Jack Law were arrested on charges of burglary and criminal damage to property.

Several other citizens and businesses were hit by copper thieves on or around the same date as the Salem Methodist Church attempt.

Between Nov. 8 and 29, an air conditioner was stolen from a vacant lot owned by Adams Asset Management on Savoy Park Drive. Air conditioners are prime targets of copper thieves who strip the machines of the valuable wires. The stolen unit was worth $2,500.

On Nov. 30, Metro Iron Works reported the theft of $1,500 worth of copper from their location on Piper Road.

Between Nov. 16 and Dec. 2 an air conditioner was stolen from a residence on Oak Hill Road. The stolen item was worth $5,000.

Anyone with information regarding the cases is asked to call the Newton County Sheriff's Office at (678) 625-1403. Tips may also be given anonymously at (678) 625-5007 or on their Web site