ST. LOUIS — St. Alphonsus Liguori Rock Church is a landmark. The historic church is also a community fixture in north St. Louis. Church leaders said their outreach programs include providing meals and counseling.  

Church leaders were shocked this week when maintenance crews spotted two air conditioning units gutted on the roof of the parish hall. 

“It’s frustrating when we’re trying to do good for the community and feel taken advantage of, said Fr. Steve Benden.  

Monica Huddleston has been a church member since 1990 and is the chairperson of the church’s finance and administration commission.  

“If there are any people out there in the public who can help us with this, we would certainly appreciate it,” she said.

St. Louis police classify the crime as a burglary. The units were last seen intact Monday morning. The damage was noticed Wednesday afternoon.   

One church leader said the initial estimate to replace the units will be approximately $20,000.  He was not yet sure how much insurance will cover. 

The church’s assistant pastor, Fr. Rodney Olive, has a message for anyone involved with the crime. 

“Think about what you’re doing, because for the $500 you’re going to get for that as scrap metal, you just cost other people in the neighborhood a whole lot of time, effort, and money.”  

He also hopes anyone with information will step forward.  

“The only way we bring peace and justice to our neighborhoods is when all of us here stand up and raise our voice,” said Olive.  “Otherwise, it just keeps ongoing.” 

The church has also faced other recent challenges.  

“A couple of months ago, we had all of our cars broken into in the backyard,” said Benden.  “We had to replace all of the windows and I mean it’s just frustrating.”   

Huddleston said the church is also working to replace funds used to restore the church’s stone wall to landmark requirements.