Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Four churches in Hutchinson have fallen victim to burglars and vandals since March 28. The fourth and latest break-in occurred overnight Sunday at The Father's House at 1505 E. 20th Ave. in Hutchinson.
"They got into one room. Didn't get much. Didn't go very far," said Bishop Quintin Moore, senior pastor. "We're protected by a security system so we're assuming that's what kept them from going any further in the building."
Hutchinson Police said the burglar did not take any valuables from the church.
"What we're seeing is burglaries, being entered through broken windows. Sometimes things are stolen, sometime they're not. We've had instances where there was considerable damage done," said Detective Darrin Cox.
On March 28, extensive damage was caused to the Tenth Avenue United Methodist Church at 300 W. 10th Ave. Police said vandals clogged a toiled and caused major flooding in the church.
In April, two churches fell victim to vandals.
Grace Episcopal Church officials at 2 Hyde Park Drive reported vandalism that included several thousands of dollars in damage to the stained-glass windows.
Eastwood Church of Christ officials at 2500 N. Plum St. said vandals used fire extinguishers to spray inside the entire church. The mess left them unable to hold Sunday service that day.
"Very disheartening that anyone would want to be destructive. It's sad to hear that another occurrence has taken place here in town," said Jimie-Wray Mead, minister at Eastwood Church of Christ.
Some churches are considering increased security, including purchasing security systems.
Moore said that having the security system may have helped his church avoid greater damages.
"We, as churches, are going to have to begin to realize, we just have to face the reality of the society that we're in and be a little more prepared," said Moore.
If you see suspicious people near a church during after hours, call 911. If you have information about the break-ins, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).