Thieves steal thousands worth of equipment from Miami church

MIAMI (WSVN) - A Miami pastor is showing 7News the damage done to his church in the hopes of helping officials catch the thief or thieves who broke in.

The crooks broke into the Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church, at 5929 NW 17th Ave., in Miami, and got away with a lot of valuables and vandalized the building.

Church members comforted each other after the burglary. “God is good. It’s gonna be OK,” one churchgoer said to the crying pastor.

They visited the church Tuesday to check on Pastor W. Edward Mitchell, Jr. after criminals cleaned out the baptist church. “All the computers upstairs are gone, all the monitors are gone,” he said, “even the safety equipment we use to record anybody coming in the finance office, they stole that.”

The burglary occurred overnight Monday. “They broke this [window] in the women’s bathroom,” Mitchell said.

After breaking in, Mitchell said the thieves took equipment worth thousands of dollars.

Those involved did not just steal equipment, but they also ransacked the church, trying to break whatever they couldn’t take. A mess was left behind in nearly every room. “The upstairs is absolutely destroyed,” Mitchell said. “There’s no reason for that type of madness.”

Mitchell is now prepared to share the troubling news with his congregation. “We have members that have been here for 58 years,” he said.

The long-time members, the seniors who have supported and loved the Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church are one of Mitchell’s biggest concerns. “I don’t know how to compensate for the pain they feel,” Mitchell said tearing up, “because this is all they have.”

Mitchell hopes the community will reach out to him and help to rebuild the church after losing so much.

If you have any information on the burglary, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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