Local church robbed twice
A second burglary in two weeks has left a rural Eudora church searching for answers and authorities searching for suspects.
Family of Faith Fellowship, 2295 North 1300 Road, reported to Douglas County Sheriff's Department last Wednesday an estimated $2,500 to $3,000 worth of music equipment, electronics and food was stolen from the church.
Lt. Don Crowe, Douglas County Sheriff's Department, said there has been elevated activity of church burglaries in recent months. Though authorities were successful apprehending suspects from another case, officers are still looking for answers to this one. Officers from the sheriff's department have taken samples of fingerprints from the crime scene.
"We've had a couple, we've solved one," Crowe said. "This one here, we don't have any suspects."
Phil Scott, pastor for the church, said authorities believe the burglars gained entrance by breaking a small basement window in the July 26 burglary.
"Apparently they were small enough to slide though," Scott said.
After gaining entry, burglars stole a bass guitar, three Sony Playstations and two Nintendo 64 video game systems, three 25" and one 32" television set. Also stolen were four video games, food, an audio mixer and a guitar.
One television was recovered apparently from falling out of the vehicle as it departed. Some food stolen from the church refrigerator was also scattered on the ground. Scott said this was the first incident of its kind in two decades of the church's existence.
"What is really so aggravating about this is over 20 years the building has never had anything happen," he said.
A security alarm had been installed, but phone lines carrying a signal to the company were cut, making detecting intruders impossible. Scott said the alarm was installed after a July 15 burglary. A set of lost keys were found inside the church the next day, with some items missing from the church.
"All they took was a five-piece Pearl black drumset and a speaker being used downstairs," Scott said. "No doubt, unintentionally, when they left they set the keys down."
Though forgiveness is key for the church and its members, Scott said he hopes justice will be served.
"We certainly look forward to justice being done," Scott said. "The reason why we're interested in justice is not a vengeful type of thing; we don't want this to happen to anybody else."
Most items stolen were part of the church's One Way Youth Ministry, which has a youth service that provides recreation such as video games and music. Scott said the ministry has been successful, but some of the musical equipment stolen did not belong to the church. With the church currently undergoing a $15,000 roof replacement, the thefts came as an untimely financial blow.
"We'll deal with this one project at a time," Scott said. "It created some problems for us, but at any rate we'll do what we have to do."
In the meantime, Scott said anyone with musical equipment or video game equipment in decent shape can call the church if interested in helping.
"Anybody who's got stuff like that and in decent shape, we'd be interested in negotiating," Scott said.
Anyone interested in selling or donating items may call Family of Faith Fellowship at 542-3353 or Phil Scott at 542-3713. Anyone with information regarding the burglaries may call the Douglas County Sheriff's Department at (785) 841-0007.