String of break-ins at Newark churches

September 28, 2011 7:52:52 PM PDT
Police are investigating a string of break-ins at churches in Newark.

Nearly a dozen have been hit in the past two weeks.

The thief has stolen cash, to electronics, and even food for the poor.

In places where forgiveness is preached from the pulpit and is posted through the sanctuary, it is now being put to practice.

"This is where the flat screen television was," said Pastor Orlando Vick, of the Greater Providence Baptist Church.

Nagging hooks now hang in place of the endless electronics stolen from nearly a dozen churches and religious institutions in Newark over the past two weeks.

"It is really sad," Vick said.

It's sad, not just because of the financial loss but the Grinch-like greed of the burglar or burglars responsible.

"This one is totally empty," said Pastor Gerald Dickson, of Beulah Baptist Church.

The pantries at Beulah Bible Cathedral were cleaned out.

The crook is a person Pastor Gerald Dickson believes knew the building's layout and stole the food meant for the needy in this neighborhood.

"It really hurts us to know that after all we do in helping and assisting people that one of those people could have come back and did this to us," Dickson said.

Nothing inside was sacred to the person or people who broke in to the church on Tuesday and then again on Thursday of last week, walking out with hundreds of dollars that the church's children raised in a coin drive.

"Guess he didn't see the sign," Dickson said.

A sign hanging in the pastor's office and a lesson clearly missed, and in that the pastors in this community say is the opportunity to forgive but certainly not forget.

"I live and I walk in forgiveness, but I also know the principles of the law," Dickson said.