Thieves steal items from Indy church meant to be donated on Christmas Eve, leave pennies behind

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Thieves smashed their way into two local churches overnight.

The pair of break-ins took place early Friday morning just a half mile apart near 25th Street and 30th Street, along Dr. Andrew J Brown avenue on the city’s near northeast side.

The back pew of the New Life Community Church is filled with boxes of clothes and food intended for holiday charity.

“Some of these have brand new tags. They were brand new clothes we had to give away,” said pastor Patricia Brown.

Yet overnight, someone shattered a side window, got into the church and then stole some of the more valuable clothes before they could be donated on Sunday.

“It makes me very angry because there are people we’re trying to help that really do need,” said Brown.

The burglars also smashed a cabinet and stole some snacks meant for kids, then pried open the lock of this fridge and grabbed some drinks.

“It’s frustrating. You’re doing all you can to help somebody else and somebody is breaking in and stealing. It’s just pretty sad,” said Brown.

Before leaving, the thieves cleared out a collection box of a few hundred dollars. Pastor Brown says the suspects even opened a donation jar, but didn’t take all the money.

“They left all the pennies. Took all the silver and bills and left all the pennies,” said Brown.

Just 15 minutes earlier, police were also called to the Lamb of God church a half-mile north. In that case, the suspects got inside but were apparently scared off by the alarm and left without stealing anything.

Pastor Brown now has a message for the mystery thieves.

“It’s really selfish and inconsiderate. I would say to them, 'I know jobs can be hard, but there’s people hiring every day. Get a job,'” said Brown.

Neither church had surveillance video of the suspects to offer up, but anyone with information on the cases is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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