Northwest Oklahoma City church damaged by apparant hit and run, then hit by looters

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A northwest Oklahoma City church is picking up the pieces after their property was damaged.

Not only was their welcome sign damaged in what appears to be a hit and run, but members also say looters went through their property.

The welcome sign represented the First Presbyterian Church for decades and had a lot of sentimental value.

Church officials are still unsure who destroyed the sign.

"It would've taken quite a bit of impact to do this damage," said Jack Lancaster, facilities and property coordinator. "What appears to be an intoxicated driver ran up over the curb, hit our sign, backed up into our light pole and then drove off."

Church members and leaders are asking whoever is responsible to come forward.

"We're a church so we're forgiving people but we would like to know, even though this person is probably not insured, to stand up for what you did," said Lancaster.

The sign wasn't the only thing damaged in the collision.

Church staff said looters came by and stole decorative iron and letters worth thousands of dollars.

"To locate and replace something from the 50's is almost impossible," said Lancaster.

Church officials say the digital display part of the sign is worth more than $30,000, which is a cost they can not afford right now.

"It's something that has to be done. This is part of our church and this is how people identify us so we have to come up with a way to do it," said Lancaster.

Church staff and members are looking on the bright side.

"It could have been a person instead of a sign, because we do have a lot of foot traffic in this area," said Lancaster.

A police report has been filed and a witness did come forward and said she was almost hit by an erratic driver in the area, describing the vehicle as a white older sedan.

The church does have insurance but the sign is not a part of the structure.  Officials say with their deductible, the sign will still be very costly to fix.

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