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Church victimized by burglar again

by F.T. Norton, Appeal Staff Writer

For the second time in two months, the Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church has been burglarized.

Burglars made off with about $50 in change — donations from children of the church — and a computer hard drive sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, said church secretary Joan Hendricks.

She said the latest break-in wasn’t nearly as lucrative as Dec. 18, when burglars made off with an estimated $3,000 in donations.

“I’d be afraid I’d be struck by lightning,” she said as she stood in the chapel.

The burglars entered through a window they had broken in the music room, passed through the chapel, rummaged through file cabinets, and gutted Hendricks’ computer in the office of the Saliman Road church.

“They took the whole hard drive,” Hendricks said. “That’s hours of work I can’t get back.”

As a result of last month’s burglary, the church no longer keeps cash on the premises, except for a water jug in which children had left donations of change — an estimated $50 worth — for the building fund. Burglars left only the empty jug behind.

“The next guy that decides to break in better think twice,” said congregation member John Schmidt, alluding to an increase in patrols around the church.

Since the first burglary, Schmidt has checked the church’s perimeter to make sure all the doors were locked. He didn’t make it over Sunday evening.

“How can you be so desperate to break into a church?” he asked.

Hendricks said when the Rev. Marvin H. Dennis addressed the congregation about the first burglary, she agreed with his statement: “I would hate to be the person that steals from God.”

“Pastor said if someone had asked, he would have just given them the money,” she said.

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating both burglaries.