MORGANTON, N.C. - A Christian radio station in Morganton is off the air after thieves struck Thursday morning.
The owners of the station came to work to find thieves had ripped the building apart and done thousands of dollars in damage to the transmitter.
The damage was so bad, the station can’t even get on the air.
The break-in is also impacting a charity drive to help those in need in Burke County.
Owner John Whisnant knew something was wrong when he turned the dial to AM 760 and didn't hear a thing.
"(I was) devastated, absolutely devastated. It's December. It's our biggest month,” he said.
Whisnant said thieves broke in and gutted two of WCIS's transmitters, stealing a few hundred dollars in copper.
It didn't take long for the owner to see how the thieves got in. He said they cut their way through a fence that has barbed wire on the top.
The thieves then climbed through a window. The damage inside is estimated at $50,000.
The station was in the middle of a coat drive for Burke United Christian Ministries.
It will most likely be the early part of next week before the station can find a used transmitter and get it installed to get back on the air.
Channel 9 asked Whisnant if he can forgive those responsible.
“Absolutely I can forgive them, but I still want to see them punished to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
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