FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Fort Pierce police are warning churches in the city to be on guard after three churches have been broken into in one week.
The break-ins happened last Thursday evening at 1810 Orange Avenue, Friday afternoon at 105 N. 15th St, and Monday morning at 311 N. 25th St.
Police had no suspects in mind Thursday night.
At the Pentecostal Church on 25th Street, a window is still smashed where the thieves broke into the church and stole electronics and musical instruments.
“And to think they actually had to climb up there, they were very motivated to rob us,” said church member, Daniel Jean-Baptiste.
He has been going to the church all his life.
Police say expensive electrical equipment was stolen at all three churches, which are less than a mile apart.
“I don’t know what someone would be targeting churches, but it’s a very cruel act,” Jean-Baptiste said. It will be hard for the churches to replace the equipment on their own.
Police turned to social media to warn about the thefts, and tell church-goers to be on guard. There are more than 200 churches in the city.
Police provided the following advise for preventing a burglary:
- Ensure the property is properly secured with functional doors and windows.
- Leave exterior and interior lights on.
- Use (or consider installing) alarms and camera systems.
- Properly maintain the property’s landscaping to remove concealment opportunities.
- Place signage (such as security systems in use) at the property to deter crime.
Jean-Baptiste is not letting the crimes become a distraction.
“The instruments are just material things. What counts is the actual worship and the praise we do.”