East side church burglarized; children’s fundraising donations stolen

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Children’s fundraising donations worth hundreds of dollars were stolen from an east side church. The First Bible Church, located at 2340 North Ritter Ave., was burglarized sometime overnight Friday. Now, the assistant pastor is hoping someone will read this story and help police find who’s responsible.

A key piece of the crime was left behind. The church’s assistant pastor, Ben Smith, says the bad guys left a hammer inside, and it’s how they think the rampage began. He thinks whoever is responsible took the hammer to a window, smashed it, and climbed in.

Smith says they went around the corner, busted in to the office and found almost $500 in change collected by the kids at the church. The money was supposed to go to pay for a new gym, to better the community!

“The kids don’t know anything about it,” said Smith.

The burglars also took a safe, weighing almost 400lbs., which they wheeled down the hallway.

“Then they came through and they busted this door open, we’re assuming with the safe, they smashed the safe through the glass,” said Smith.

The superficial damage can be fixed, but the real heartbreaking part of this is the hard work of the kids, some who don’t have much money themselves, is now gone.

“We’ll just start over and press on,” said Smith.

Smith says they’ve been hit by burglars in the past when air conditioning units were stolen. Now, they plan to install security cameras to protect themselves from any more crime.