A string of church break-ins and burglaries in rural Wayne County, West Virginia have several local congregations stumped. Some have had nothing stolen, just damaged. Others are now missing thousands of dollars in equipment.
If thieves know the 10 commandments, they're ignoring at least one of them.
Rev. Dallas Stephens says, "It's getting to be unsafe in your own home; practically afraid to leave [because] you'll be broke in before you get back. It's a shame people in our day and time have stooped to this degree to steal from a church, but it seems like that's what our society has bred."
Two miles down the road: the same story. Earlier this year at the Apostolic New Life Tabernacle, someone broke the basement window and crawled inside. This week, they tried to pry open the front door.
Pastor John Hickey says the Bible has been a comfort. But even a pastor is human. "You hear a lot of preachers say we need to pray for them. I say, ‘Pray for them. Pray they get caught’,” he says.
Late Friday afternoon, Pastor Stephens called our newsroom to say there may be a break in this case. The church's stolen music equipment has turned up in an area pawn shop.