Pastor wants to help church burglar, not press charges

MIAMI (WSVN) - The pastor of a South Florida church that was broken into, Wednesday morning, is saying he doesn’t want to press charges.

City of Miami Police responded to the scene of an overnight break-in at Bethany Baptist Church, along Northwest 54th Street. The crook stole a $5,000 keyboard.

Pastor Salim Auguste said the burglar used a large rock to bust through a window. “Around 2:30 a.m., I received a call that something was going wrong at the church,” said Auguste.

Auguste felt blindsided by the news. “It is unexpected to see people come into the house of the Lord and do such thing,” he said.

According to the pastor, this isn’t the first time investigators have made their way to Bethany Baptist Church. A break-in occurred at the same location, two years ago. Auguste said those burglars also took music equipment, and the church only recently came up with enough money to replace it.

This time, Auguste said, he doesn’t plan on pressing charges if the burglar simply brings back the keyboard. “We still pray for that person,” said the pastor, “so that God might change his heart and return the keyboard.”

The church is now faced with the task of fixing the damage and buying new band equipment. “We have to go back and replace everything,” said Auguste. “But at the same time, it is only a thing.”

If you have any information on this 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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