Crime

Burglars leave Camden church in disarray

Monday, March 05, 2012

Crime investigators in Camden are now on the hunt for the bandit or bandits who hit a church that has seen its share of tough times.

Through the years, Community Baptist Church in the 1500 block of Mt. Ephraim has stood as a spiritual sanctuary for the poor.

But on Monday, that sanctuary was turned virtually upside down by a burglar or burglars looking for valuables.

"And I looked over, and the window is busted and I was like, 'oh no,'" Reverend David King said.

Sometime today, someone used a trash can to climb up to one of the stain glass windows, breaking it to gain entry.

The place was ransacked.

The pastor's office was pillaged with files and documents thrown all over the place.

The thief or thieves made off with the church's audio board for the sound system, two video cameras and a recorder used to record the services, roughly $2,000 worth of items.

"And we ain't got that kind of money floating around that we can go out and buy that stuff," King said.

Now Reverend King thinks whoever did this may be a drug addict because the person left other valuable musical equipment behind that is used by the church choir. It remained untouched.

Over the years, Reverend King has been featured on ABC's 20/20 with Diane Sawyer, the New York Times and other national outlets for his work with the poor.

Admittedly, he knows the church is in a rough neighborhood. He says there have been 16 murders in the neighborhood and a bullet pierced through one of the stained glass windows.

Twice over the summer, someone cut through a metal chain link cage to steal a $4,000 air conditioning unit and the unit that was bought to replace it.

"I'm hearing when it don't feel good, that somebody steal your air condition unit, and they break into your church and most likely, you even fed the person, you done clothed his kids," King said.

With the thief or thieves unknown to authorities, police have advised Reverend King, they more than likely will strike again.

He plans to look into getting an alarm system.

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Tags:
new jersey, camden, camden county, theft, burglary, crime, dann cuellar
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