FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Thieves are breaking into churches across Fort Wayne. Since January, ten churches have been burglarized. One of those churches was burglarized three times in the last two months.
Prince of Peace Church on Hessen Cassel Road is relatively new. The doors opened last October. But after the recent break-ins Pastor Ivan Aleman is working to secure those doors.
All total, the thieves stole four televisions, sound equipment, instruments, and $20 dollars from the offering bowl. Aleman believes it is a total loss of $4,000 dollars. He said it’s a reminder that more work needs to be done to spread the word of God.
“I thought, ‘God, why does this have to happen?’ said Aleman. “But at the same time I realize that means there’s a lot more work to do for us.”
This church is one of several others that have been targeted. Six church burglaries have been reported in the month of July, two in January, one in March and one in June of this year.
Items that were taken include computers, cash, a guitar, audio equipment, televisions, toys and games.
According to Michael Joyner, a Spokesman Fort Wayne Police Department, churches are unusual targets for burglary. He is warning church leaders should be on high alert.
“Typically churches are places of open doors and you welcome people for obvious reasons,” he said. “But now you have to take a second look, you have to take a realistic look that you might be setting yourself up for being a victim of burglary.”
Joyner urges people to do whatever they can to make the church more secure.
“Check your locks, check your lighting, think about installing alarms, and the possibility of installing surveillance equipment,” said Joyner. “It’s a shame that we have to do this but the reality is that we’ve had a series of burglaries taking place.”
As for Pastor Aleman, he says he forgives who ever is responsible, and prays that some good can come out of this.
“Those items that they stole they were sanctified we prayed for them,” he said. “So I pray that those items touch their hearts, so that when they see those items they come to Christ.”
FWPD believe the same person, or people are behind the burglaries taking place.
If you have any information regarding these burglaries, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers (436-STOP).
Below is a map of the church burglaries: