LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A Lansing church community has been rocked by a break-in and theft of computers, tools and sound equipment.
Pastor Gary Schnepp and Assistant Worship Director Stephen Hammes have been with True North Community Church for more than a decade. Along with the shattered glass, the robbery and vandalism also left them with broken hearts for their community.
“You feel violated, right? It’s like what’s going on? I understand that people have needs, ask. Just ask, we’re that kind of a congregation. But to come in and see the devastation, is intentional. I mean it’s well thought out,” Schnepp said.
Empty cases, littered desks and fire extinguisher powder are some of the things left behind for Lansing Township police officers called to investigate a break-in at True North Community Church late Thursday night. Hammes said the robbery not only hurts their congregation but other communities, like a group of Spanish-speaking worshippers, who use the space for services on Fridays.
“Devastated, hurt, we pour a lot of heart and energy and love into this church and to see it destroyed is just heart breaking,” said he said.
Police estimated a thousand dollars in property was stolen, a figure that could go up as church leaders review the damage.
As for who’s behind this? Schnapps said there’s little to go on since there are no cameras in the building. But dust and broken glass left detectives clues with footprints and blood found at the scene. Despite all the emotions the church leaders face, they are using the moment to practice what they preach.
“Whoever the perpetrators are, just know that you are forgiven. I am extremely disappointed. I’m sorry you made bad choices. Someone, somewhere did not train you well. You know, the words are pretty clear, ‘train up a child in the way he should go and they won’t depart from it,'” said Schnepp.
Police are still investigating the break-in and say blood samples collected will be forwarded to a lab for analysis. As for Sunday service, Pastor Schnepp said the church will go on either indoors or outside.