ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– A south St. Louis church is fighting back after being targeted by several burglars within the past few weeks.
“When I was a little girl they had German services here,” said lifelong St. John`s Lutheran churchgoer Melba Fanger.
Fanger feels violated when she sees the broken glass and glaringly empty shelf where the church`s 19th century German bible used to sit.
“My whole family was born here, and they were married here, as were my husband and I,” she stated. “And so the fact that it`s being destroyed is very heart wrenching.”
“There`s nothing personal anymore. They`ve rummaged through pretty much everything that we own,” said Pastor Michael Tanney.
Unfortunately, this violation is becoming a trend.
“Guitars, computers, printers, things for office work. And then, recently, it`s been one of our cherished heirlooms, a beautiful bible,” he continued.
Not to mention Christmas presents for the needy.
“They rummaged through that, stole some of their gifts and just made a mess of things,” explained Pastor Tanney.
The latest incident, though, was caught on surveillance camera, which was donated to the church after a previous burglary.
Pastor Tanney incorporated the church`s recent plight into their Christmas Eve service.
“We have a box here, a Christmas box, and we will be referring to the box as a box of war. Where there`s a lot of hate, a lot of violence,” said Pastor Tanney. “But it was in that world that God decided to place us in. And by that, we rejoice and celebrate, because there`s something beyond what we`re suffering now.”
The church is also using Christ to rise above this violence and pray that whoever did this will be found.
Thanks to that surveillance footage, church leaders believe it`s been the same person responsible for the recent burglaries.
If you have any information leading to an arrest, call the St. Louis Police Department.