Blood trail leads police to Travis Park copper theft suspect

Man accused of trying to steal copper from Travis Park United Methodist Church

SAN ANTONIO - A trail of blood and an alert valet led San Antonio police to a man accused of stealing copper from Travis Park United Methodist Church.

The valet spotted the suspect trying to take a 6-foot section of copper wire off the side of the church around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, San Antonio police said.

The valet called police and officers responded and noticed a trail of blood left behind. Officers followed the blood and found the suspect, 45-year-old Troy Sova. According to police, Sova cut himself while cutting air conditioner lines. Sova has been charged with copper theft, a felony.

"Of course it's frustrating. It's frustrating. It's Christmastime and we help a lot of people," Pastor Dale Tremper of Travis Park United Methodist Church said.

The church was hit by a copper thief just a month ago. The damage cost the church several thousand dollars on top of what insurance covered and knocked out the air conditioner to an area where the church serves about 250 homeless people every Sunday.

"The basement's pretty full. It's hot. It could get miserable, and of course it can affect people's temperament and makes ministry more difficult," Tremper said.

The church has a contract to have a cage installed around the copper to prevent theft, but the work has not been completed.

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