Pastor wants crooks to stop targeting church - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

UPDATE

Pastor wants crooks to stop targeting church

Posted: Updated:
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

Police said they have identified a man suspected of stealing surveillance cameras from a church. He is in custody but has not been charged.

It was just after midnight May 22 when two men yanked the cameras from the eaves of The Bible Fellowship Center at 2502 N. Liberty St.

The economic impact is multiplied because it is a small church with about 50 parishioners, and it is just the latest in a string of costly crimes

"It's very aggravating to me," Pastor Richard Williams said. "We've had central air stolen, we've had the back door busted in and now the cameras."

The back door was just property damage because it leads only to a small entryway, and the would-be burglar couldn't get any other doors open.

But Williams says the cameras cost about $2,500. He says the wiring was also damaged, so the church is looking at replacing the whole system at a cost of $8,000.

"It's hurtful to know that we are here trying to serve God and do work in God's community and then people's out to destroy us," said Sheila Carpenter, Williams' sister and a member of the parish.

Police were able to get a photo of a possible suspect because of the pastor, who grabbed his camera when a pair of men walked through the parking lot several days later.

He had watched the surveillance video, and even though the video is fuzzy, the resemblance was striking.

"I hollered at them and then I just took the best shot I could get," Williams said. "And then they jumped the fence down there, so they were gone."

Held side-by-side, the surveillance image looks like a silhouette of the photo with some distinctive features, including a white spot on the bill of the man's baseball cap.

Police also said a second suspect was identified and arrested as a result of their investigation. Charges are anticipated against both on Friday or Monday at the latest

The same man is also suspected in a theft at the North American Savings Bank at 11400 E. 23rd St. South. Police have not said what was stolen there.

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