‘Stealing from God’; Burglar breaks in to Rockford church, caught on video

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A burglar, who was caught on video burglarizing a Rockford church, came back for more but was scared off the second time by the pastor.

Jeremiah Griffin, the pastor at Halsted Road Baptist Church, 3326 Halsted Road, said the thief broke in Tuesday, in broad daylight.

“He dropped down into the window well and kicked the window in, used a rock to finish it out, and slid in,” Griffin said, showing Eyewitness News video from the church’s surveillance camera. “He starts coming through here, going through, looking to see what’s going on. He’s checking doors, and all the doors are locked and kept him out, but he kept trying to go through and get things, but he ended up going down the Sunday school hallway, and ended up putting together, like, a craft or something, that distracted him.”

Griffin said the burglar hit the jackpot in their main sanctuary, stealing electronics and musical instruments, some of which belonged to the church’s children.

“The stuff he took was not just stealing from a church. It’s not just stealing from God, or anything like that. The musical instruments he took, one of them was my daughter’s guitar. She saved, she worked hard to get that, so she learned to play guitar to support us in worship,” he said.

While Griffin was calling the police to report the burglary, he said the thief returned.

“He walks right tot the window and, literally, he doesn’t check a door, he goes right to the window, the place where the guy broke in. We hadn’t cleaned it up. There’s glass there. He looks down, hops down and sat down, trying to go back into the church,” Griffin said.

Police didn’t arrive in time to catch the burglar on his return visit.

“But really, in reality, one day, this guy is going to have to stand before a greater judge than any judge in Rockford. One day, he’s going to stand before God, and he’s going to be accountable,” Griffin said.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the robbery, and say at this time, they have not apprehended the suspect.

Griffin said he has installed even more security cameras at the church, and is hopeful the thief will be caught soon.

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