Fence installed to prevent theft stolen from Oak Cliff church

An Oak Cliff church will have to spend thousands of dollars to replace what was stolen this week.

Thieves took off with wrought iron fence panels and a gate that were put in place as a security measure.

"I was like this cannot be happening," said Pastor Tavares Gardner of The Way Fellowship Church of Dallas.

Eight panels were plucked from the fence in the back of the church's parking lot.

"We have this finely cut piece of wrought iron fence gone," said Pastor Gardner. "So they had to use some type of saw."

In fact, red paint from the saw's blade was transferred onto the fence where it was cut.

The panels were pilfered sometime between Sunday service and Monday afternoon.

[REPORTER: "What do you say to the people that did this?"]

"God bless you, but the wrath of God will be upon you for taking from the house of God," said Pastor Gardner.

The pastor says the church has experienced burglaries in the past.

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"We've had multiple break-ins prior to getting the gates. We've had people come in and smash our front windows, doors right here with rocks and came in and took our media equipment," said Pastor Gardner.

Despite what the church has lost, they have chosen to stay in the community.

"We are supposed to be a beacon of light in this community. Know the way, go the way and show the way, so we're not moving. We're here to stay," Pastor Gardner explained.

The theft by people who literally cut their way in was likely carried out by people with fence experience.

"We had a huge sliding gate, as you can see, that goes through these rollers is now gone, so that took some time. That was methodical. For you to unhinge, take that off of this track, off of the roller, so this was intentional," Pastor Gardner said. "We just want to bring awareness to businesses and churches around to be on the lookout, step up your security as well."

The pastor's prayer is that those with dirty hands will be arrested and convicted by a higher power.