Nighttime thief swipes Assumption Church's copper downspouts

Copper downspouts have been stolen from Windsor's historic Assumption Church by someone who targets the 176-year-old building at night.

It happened twice since Thursday and suspect was caught on camera, officials say

Someone stole copper downspouts from Assumption Church in Windsor. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Copper downspouts have been stolen from Windsor's historic Assumption Church by someone who targets the 176-year-old building at night.

It's happened twice since last Thursday.

Surveillance footage shows the suspect "lurking in the shadows," according to church officials, who also say the thief is apparently reaching as high as they can, snipping several downspouts from the historic church.

"It's disappointing that someone is coming, sneaking during the night and damaging the church," said Nelson Couto, communications officer for the London Diocese, which owns the building.

Couto assumes the criminal stole the metal for profit, although he says it's not worth much.

Pieces of copper downspouts were taken from Assumption Church in Windsor on two different occasions since Thursday. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Caught on camera

Officials can see what happened on surveillance video; however, the thief managed "to stay out of sight," said Couto.

Assumption Church has filed a report with Windsor police. Since it's located next to the University of Windsor, church officials said campus police have agreed to keep a closer eye on the property.

Other 'nuisance' damage

They report other "nuisance" damage, including a stolen flower pot.

"It's unfortunate that this sort of thing would take place, especially at church grounds," said Couto.

 Assumption Church closed in 2014 because it was in need of $15 million worth of repairs.

After a few failed fundraising attempts, very little has changed when it comes to the potential revitalization of the building.

Assumption Church assumes someone stole pieces of its copper downspouts to sell for money. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Future of church being analyzed

A report is currently being written to analyze the situation for the Diocese of London for information purposes.

"It's an overall analysis looking at past fundraising and the state of the building," Couto tells CBC News.

It's unclear when that analysis will be complete.

About the Author

Jason Viau is a video journalist, TV host and radio newsreader at CBC Windsor. He was born in North Bay, but has lived in Windsor for most of his life. Since graduating from St. Clair College, he's worked in print, TV and radio. Email him at


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