Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Church Burglary Caught on Tape

By LaKecia Shockley -
Posted by Ellen Krafve -

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Just a week after three East Texas churches were set on fire another church was targeted by criminals. Longview police say Monday night, burglars broke into the First Baptist Church on South Street. But, these criminals were caught on tape.

"That's the real disappointing thing that someone would have a lack of respect for a house of worship," said Dr. Tim Watson, senior pastor at FBC.

Police say three people burglarized the church building.

"You can see, in the video, them rearing an arm back to throw a rock through the window and you can also see the subjects running away from the scene," said Officer Kevin Brownlee, with the Longview PD.

When the alarm sounded, Longview police went into action.

"Officers went there as quickly as possible, brought several units with them and when they found forced entry the first thing they could all think of, of course, is that it's possibly somebody breaking into the church and setting it on fire since that's what has occurred in other areas," said Brownlee.

Luckily, it wasn't a fire, but the six church arsons this month have pastors on alert.

"If anything, it makes you feel vulnerable that when it happens to others it could happen to us," said Watson. "We feel like the suspects in this...the perpetrators were really trying to just steal items more so than to cause a fire."

To keep their church building safe, First Baptist has a high tech 16-camera security system with motion sensors and that is not all.

"There is a guard that is guarding our property from 6 pm in the evening to 6am in the morning and so we've just tried to be proactive," said Watson.

They are proactive measures for First Baptist that left burglars leaving empty-handed.

Right now, police say they don't believe the crime is connected to the church arsons. They remind everyone to report any suspicious activity they see around churches.

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