INDIANAPOLIS — A church on 16th Street and Delaware, The Joy of All Who Sorrow, was broken into last month. The crooks stole hundred of dollars worth of power tools.
A couple of church pastors around Indianapolis said these break-ins affect more than just the individual church — it affects the people who the churches work to help.
Since December 5, at least ten churches have been burglarized across the Circle City.
Pastor Daniel Parnell leads East Street Apostolic Church, which was broken into Monday morning.
"Came in – stole television sets and at that point I guess the alarm was going off and they vacated before the police could get here," Pastor Parnell said.
The alarm system the church uses cost a few hundred dollars to install and $40 a month. A worthwhile expenditure for the church, but the damage from the break-in hurts.
"As a small congregation we typically use all our funding to support the church but also to give back to the community," the pastor said.
Pastor Parnell says the damage is around five or six hundred dollars. Money that goes a long way when the church is hosting community dinners and providing hygiene items and food for people in need.
"It just has a trickle down affect of not being able to reach as many families and reach as many people in need," he said.
At least nine other churches were broken into recently, including one on East 34th Street, that had musical equipment stolen .
And a church on the west side, was broken into twice in about a month and lost laptops and TVs. The spokesman said they didn't track the serial numbers and wants other people to make sure and write those numbers down, and has decided to upgrade their security.
"It saddens my heart to know people see churches now as a target and not a place for help," the pastor said.
And for now, what was once used to break down the doors of the church, is being used to lift it up. Parnell says they're keeping the rock the crooks used to break in.
"Often times in the scriptures Jesus was referred to as a rock he is our foundation – it reminds us that we’re building on something solid," he said.
A police spokesman said they weren't aware of any collected data being reviewed at this time, but he said he would check again the next day.
Updates to come.
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