More than $20,000 in property stolen from church, school and Boy Scout troop

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Staff and volunteers at Trinity Lutheran Church and School off 16th Street on the east side are shocked at a brazen theft.

Someone stole equipment from multiple buildings on their campus, one that was used by the Boy Scouts. The value of the missing property is estimated to be more than $20,000.

"How can we replace it, I hope insurance covers it," said Judy Britt, office manager at Trinity Lutheran Church and School.

Britt's in disbelief and what all's gone. She showed FOX59 around a tractor barn on Wednesday afternoon and gave us a partial list.

"A zero-turn riding lawnmower, a string trimmer, a Salamander kerosene heater, air compressor," she said.

The crooks didn't get away with all the big stuff in the tractor barn, but they turned to a locked cage and swiped every tool they could grab, leaving shelves clear.

"I believe they just pried it open," said Britt.

The spree didn't stop there, continuing in Boy Scout troop 41's building next door.

"Your heart just sinks," said Doug Hvidston, with the troop, "It's a big blow to us. This is a lot of equipment that we depended on as far as trailers, tents. Some of the tents were brand new that we were able to buy through funds."

The list of missing loot from the Boy Scout building is staggering. It includes two trailers, a dozen tents, ladders, tools, cooking equipment, and even a Pepsi vending machine that was full of sodas and other drinks.

School administrators remain suspicious. They believe whoever did it must have known when people would not be around. The church and school buildings are armed with a security system and were not touched. The thieves tried to get into another building, but they were unsuccessful. They did take a refrigerator and nacho machine out of a concession stand nearby.

The theft was discovered on Tuesday morning, when someone went to turn on the heat in the Boy Scout building. The school called police soon after.

"You took it from kids, so I really hope they needed it a lot more than we did," said Joel Rolf, Principal of Trinity Lutheran School.

It's a lesson for the scouts, leaders said, that life isn't always fair.

"We try to teach honesty and truthfulness, and they saw the raw end of that deal," said Hvidston.

Administrators said there were no cameras on those buildings, but they anticipate that will change in the coming months. A police report was filed, but detectives had no new information to report as of Wednesday night.

Boy Scout troop 41 said they are receiving offers for community support and donations. If you'd like to help you can contact Trinity Lutheran Church and School. 

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