Michigan State Police are investigating a break-in that occurred sometime late Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning at St. John’s Lutheran Church located at 56050 Buckhorn Rd. in Three Rivers.
Pastor James Smith said intruders likely entered the church through the back-sanctuary door using the field behind the church and nightfall as cover. The intruders made their way inside the building and kicked in the church office door, evidenced by the mud left behind near the point of impact. The suspects proceeded to ransack the office and the adjoining conference room, before making their way through the rest of the church.
“And oddly enough — the insurance person seemed to get a kick out of this — they took a single-cup Keurig that we had in the library. And you know, for Lutherans, taking the coffee maker is kind of the last straw.”
“We had a person show up (Thursday) morning who was going to meet her daughter for a cup of coffee basically, and she noticed a whole bunch of stuff — it was kind of interesting — pop cans and knives were strewn all over the floor, so the first kind of thought was, ‘What went on here?’ and we started looking around and realized what (had occurred),” Smith said. “We’re sure it happened last night because we had another person swing by the church Wednesday and everything was in order.”
Smith said the state police were called around 9:30 a.m. Thursday and a state trooper spent about 45 minutes investigating the scene and interviewing neighbors for possible leads.
“The good news is it really wasn’t a catastrophic break-in. They didn’t break the glass or anything, they did not destroy the sanctuary, which obviously we appreciate, just kind of those electronic items you could try to pawn off somewhere,” Smith said. “And oddly enough — the insurance person seemed to get a kick out of this — they took a single-cup Keurig that we had in the library. And you know, for Lutherans, taking the coffee maker is kind of the last straw.”
All told with the damage incurred and the items stolen, Smith estimates repairing the damage to the office door and replacing two TVs, a DVD player, one computer, a damaged computer monitor and a single-serve Keurig coffee maker will cost around $2,000.
Alek Haak-Frost is the executive editor of Watershed Voice.