Saturday, November 21

Police Warn of thefts in Churches

Click to Read > Police warn of thefts in churches : Home: The Buffalo News

"Here is one Sunday when there are four crimes committed within a very short period. Most likely, all four were committed by the same perpetrator. The thieves certainly didn't target one religion or denomination.”

I am always amazed at how many people walk into church on Sunday’s, plop down their purse to save a seat and then turn around and walk back out to the lobby of the church. After speaking with some of these individuals their response normally resembles something like this: “Well, we are in church and no one here would ever steal anything from me”. Really??? The problem with this thought process is that it is not logical. Most of the referenced people have never experienced anything stolen from them; therefore, they assume their safety simply based on their location.

Criminals know that many church goers tend to think this same way. They look at churches as “easy targets”. If you want to save a seat they use your jacket or a piece of paper with your name on it. If you are a church leader or administrator you should consider regular reminders to your congregation about not leaving their valuables unattended around your church building.

I have directly experienced this form of theft in the past. Several years back my brother got married. Prior to the wedding all of the bride’s maids congregated in a room to add their final touches to their wedding attire. Each lady decided to leave her belonging, which included their purses, in the same room during the ceremony. After the wedding had concluded and the bride’s maids returned to collect their belongings, each girl was terrified when they discovered that all their money and credit cards had been removed from their purses. From their prospective all of their belongings were safe and secure. The bride’s maid figured that they would be the last ones into the sanctuary and the first ones out. Who would have a chance to get to their stuff? The part that they left out was the variable of the criminal. The criminal knew that they would be standing up in front of the auditorium for an extended period of time. They also knew that people normally don’t walk into a wedding ceremony late and they normally don’t walk out of the ceremony before it is over. The perpetrator had a direct window of opportunity to commit their crime!

I tell you this story to help you think of the possibilities that exist. Think about what you do with your belongings. Think about how you can encourage your congregations to safe guard their items at all times.

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