Thieves smash through Indy church wall to break into cell phone store

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indianapolis police are investigating a smash-and-grab at a church on the east side.

It happened Sunday near 21st and Franklin Road. During the crime, the suspects demolished one of the church walls.

The suspects broke into the church by breaking the glass on the front door. A pile of debris, mostly dry wall and insulation, littered the ground inside after someone tore a large hole in the church wall over the weekend.

“It was quite a mess. They had drywall thrown everywhere and insulation thrown everywhere. It was a mess,” said New Life Changing Ministries pastor Deyon Turner.

Pastor Turner says the suspects didn’t actually steal anything from his church. Instead, the thieves climbed through the wall to break into a Boost Mobile cell phone business next door.

“I don’t know how they did it, but they went through the wall,” said Turner.

The owner of the Boost store says once the thieves got inside, they cut the security alarms and stole a safe with $10,000-$15,000 worth of cell phones inside.

Because of the extensive damage done to the inside of the store, the business was forced to close for the day. After patching the hole with a board, the church went ahead with Sunday services, but the crime is still frustrating.

“It’s very disappointing because it’s something you work hard for and then someone just comes in and tears it up,” said Turner.

While it’s not clear who will pay for the damage to the church wall, pastor Turner and his small congregation of about 50 people have a message for the suspects, wherever they are.

“I think that’s it’s wrong because instead of you working hard you take something that doesn’t belong to you,” said Turner. “You know you are wrong for what you did. Whoever did it.”

So far no arrests have been made, but anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. Tips are considered anonymous and callers may be eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to a felony arrest.