Thieves Steal More Than $50K From Calif. Church


Police are searching for thieves who more than $50,000 of church offerings and $20,000 worth of computers and sound equipment from a Mira Mesa church over the weekend.

Employees at the Community Bible Church in Mira Mesa arrived on Monday morning to find the glass door of the church office shattered into thousands of pieces. Inside, several doors had been busted in.

Thieves ransacked the church office sometime after 9:40 p.m. Sunday. The thieves were even able to break open the church's safe, which was filled with offerings from five weekend services totaling more than $50,000 in cash and checks.

"We contacted everybody asked them to go ahead and contact their bank and let them know and put freezes on it," said Tony Nevarez, who serves as the chairman of the church board. "You obviously feel that these are very desperate people and you feel violated."

The church's pastor sent an emergency e-mail to church members about a special prayer service on Monday night. While some church leaders believe this is a random burglary, some church members do not.

"Obviously [they] knew that was the perfect time to go in there," said church member Sue Watt Patton. "The offerings from all the services had been made [and] all the money that was put in there to be taken to the bank -- they got it."

Parker Linekin, who has been attending Community Bible Church for more than five years, told 10News, "It's just sad that if somebody had a need the church would help them. That's what this church is all about."

A few weeks ago, thieves burglarized the First Baptist Church in Mira Mesa and took a few thousand dollars worth of computers and equipment.

Patton said she believes both churches will recover but worries for those who are responsible for the crimes.

"I don't know how much they took but it's never worth it," she said. "There's always a day of reckoning."

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