Break-ins at two Brazil churches
By EVAN WADE
Jesus talked about laying up treasure in heaven, where thieves don't break in and steal. For two Brazil churches, that lesson took on added meaning.
Two church break-ins occurred within less than 24 hours of each other last week, with both churches suffering moderate damage to their doors and one of the two losing hundreds of dollars worth of property.
Tony Alstott, Minister of the First United Methodist Church, said that his church was broken into some time Saturday night.
"They got a Dell laptop computer, a computer case, some walkie talkies, a lapel microphone, and some CDs," Alstott said. "They also messed a couple of our doors up pretty bad. They used a crowbar or some kind of flat bar to get in, and they damaged one door so badly it had to be replaced."
Another door, this one inside the church, sustained damage to the lock and frame after the break-in.
Alstott said that a break-in had occurred at the church once before, though that "was a long time ago" and probably not related.
Linda Nicoson, secretary of Brazil's First Presbyterian Church, said that her church also sustained damage during a similar break-in Sunday, night, though the damage was significantly less than that in the Methodist Church.
"Of all the people and places I know of that have been victims of a break-in, we've been the luckiest," she said. "They got some computer speakers and a couple of dollars out of my desk, and they splintered the doors to the choir loft, but otherwise didn't get much from us."
Nicoson said that while nobody likes a break-in, she was grateful that the persons responsible "could have done so much worse, but they didn't."
Alstott said that the church's janitor discovered the break-in when he opened the building up for Sunday service. The police were informed, though the church isn't sure what actions it will take yet as far as replacing the missing items.
"We don't know if we're replacing anything yet," Alstott said. "I don't mean this literally, but I'd be willing to buy all of that stuff back for cheap, because it sure isn't going to be inexpensive to replace if we decide to do so.
"It's kind of funny that the sermon that Sunday morning... it was about casting stones. It talks about Jesus confronting a crowd, all of whom were guilty, but in the end there was forgiveness. I guess that's the kind of message I want to get across."
The incidents are under investigation by the Brazil City Police.