February 23 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    It’s back to business as usual at Korean First Baptist Church on Ray Road in Raleigh.

    The Raleigh Police Department arrested four people Feb. 8, about a week after a break-in at the end of January, during a snowstorm weekend.

    Two of the people arrested were juveniles.

    “They were able to recover a lot of stolen property,” said Jerry Miller, the church’s English congregation pastor.

    Thieves took two acoustic guitars, two electric guitars, a set of drums, a keyboard, an amplifier, instrument carrying cases and a soundboard.

    “Most of that was recovered,” he said.

    A Raleigh News & Observer article said the items stolen were valued at $11,000. In an effort to conceal their crime, the suspects poured hand sanitizer on the carpet and set it on fire.

    In the N&O story Miller said fire damage was “minimal.” Three pews had burn marks.

    Thieves entered the building by shattering two sliding glass doors at the rear of the sanctuary.

    A church van was vandalized in the parking lot on Jan. 30.

    Police are not sure if there was a connection.

    Laura Hourigan, police spokeswoman, said the damage was contained in the sanctuary.

    She said the police distributed flyers in the community including local pawnshops to be on the lookout for the stolen equipment.

    Hourigan said a concerned citizen shared some possible suspect information, and a video at one of the pawnshops clearly showed the suspects selling the items.

    Miller praised the community, churches, Raleigh Baptist Association and the Raleigh Police Department for their support after the robbery.

    A portable soundboard was used at the following week’s service, and Miller said they were happy to have the equipment back for the next service.

    A week after the arrests Miller said the church was asked to pray for the people arrested.

    “Long-term we’re concerned about people’s lives,” Miller said. “We’ve seen God’s hand at work in this situation. We’re praying for a powerful change and impact in these teens lives … a powerful wakeup call to come to know Jesus.”

    This is not the first incident at the church. Miller said last summer someone stole freon out of the church’s air conditioning unit.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE — The Biblical Recorder is working on an upcoming package about church security. What are some ways your church secures its people and possessions? What works? What doesn’t? Contact Cagle at dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or 919-847-2127.)
    2/23/2010 9:27:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments




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