Police investigating rash of church break-ins in Russell neighbo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police investigating rash of church break-ins in Russell neighborhood

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Who steals from a church?

That's the question for several congregations after a series of break-ins in the Russell neighborhood -- and one church hopes to protect itself from being hit again. 

Baptized Pentecostal Church of Holiness didn't have to search far for Sunday's sermon. The need for outreach broke down Bishop Walter Jones' front door.

"It's heartbreaking -- that's the correct word for it," Jones said. "Very disturbing and very painful."

Police say it's the fourth church break-in in the Russell neighborhood in the last several weeks.

"The effort is to help them to realize that they can come into a church and not have to steal, but we have something better we can offer that we are giving away," Jones said.

Alarms sounded at the corner of 16th Street and Chestnut Street around 3 a.m. Friday. Musician Tracey Roberts lost her bass guitar. 

"When I got the call, I was like, 'Wow!'" Roberts said. 

The thieves also stole an electric keyboard, a computer and pieces of the church's audio-visual system. 

"We're still going to praise the Lord regardless," said Roberts. "We may not have our instruments, but we got a hand clap and voices so we're good."

We're told it's a case of grab-and-go, criminals looking for something quick to resell, likely feeding addictions.

With no arrests, Bishop Jones warns other local pastors 

"There is an element out there in our community that does not have the same respect for a house of God," he said. 

He says he's increasing security with the repairs. 

"We'll probably have cameras around the church...and maybe...non-glass doors," he said. "I hate to go that route, but with the times being realistic, I do feel we need to look into that."

Sunday's sermon came easy at Baptized Pentecostal, and so does the follow-up: forgiveness.

"Even though those things were taken away, the individual or individuals can come into this church and walk right down that aisle Sunday morning and have a seat," Roberts said. "That's what Jesus would do, and that's what we're going to do."

If you have any information on these church thefts, contact the LMPD tipline at 574-LMPD. You can remain anonymous.

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