Reward offered in church break in

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy in I Tim 6:10, says, &uot;For the love of money is the root of all evil..&uot; and the congregation of First Assembly of God hopes that helps solve a crime.

According to the Rev. Lane Simmons, pastor of First Assembly, the church fell victim to either one or two burglars on Feb. 28.

In that burglary, a safe was stolen with the church’s checkbooks, credit cards and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Simmons is sure it’s too late to get the safe and contents back, but he wants those responsible caught.

&uot;We are offering a reward for $1,000 for the person who provides the tip that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this,&uot; he said.

The burglars broke into a window on the back side of the church and entered the pastor’s office.

While they were breaking and entering the window, the perpetrator was cut on the broken glass, and left several blood samples behind.

&uot;If we get a suspect, the police have DNA to prove it,&uot; Simmons said.

The church built in 1987 has not seen such a large scale breakin since it opened.

Simmons said there have been other times but for the safe to be stolen, is an example of the person’s desperation.

&uot;It just lets us know that crime can happen even at the church

and as a church, we need to reach out more when something like this happens,&uot; he said.

&uot;It builds up our goal of reaching out more to the city and its people.&uot;

Simmons said they believe more than one person was involved because the safe was taken.

&uot;It took a really strong person or two people to carry it out,&uot; he said.

&uot;I don’t think someone did this alone.&uot;

As for the church family, they were saddened to hear of the breakin.

&uot;They were concerned because of the place where they seek refuge and shelter in their place of worship, was attacked in a crime,&uot; he said.

&uot;We know our real place of worship is our hearts, but this is the physical place we worship and this hurts deeply.&uot;

If anyone has any information on the person or persons responsible, they are asked to call the Greenville Police Department with it at 382-7461.

If the information leads to an arrest and conviction, you could be $1,000 richer.