Thieves ransack 3 KCK churches in close proximity, but leaders have an invitation for them

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A rash of break-ins has several churches in Kansas City, Kansas on alert. The churches within walking distance of each other, have all experienced burglaries within about the same two-week time frame.

Church members say they filed police reports and want the thieves caught, but what they say they want even more is for the thieves to show up at their churches again.

Henson Memorial Church Of God In Christ is a point of pride for Pastor Aaron Henson. He says his grandfather started the church brick-by-brick.

"He basically started from nothing. This was an empty lot. Trees bottle, paper on the ground,” said Pastor Henson.

So as you can imagine it broke his heart to learn that someone broke in, ransacked the place, stole money, and even food.

“It hurt. It hurt," said Pastor Henson.

Just next door at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, there`s a similar story.

"Doors kicked in, there were holes. They just went through the church. Threw things over, went through our finances,” said Stanley Garlington.

He is the lead chairman of the deacons at Calvary. He says money and some valuables are missing. The church is still assessing what all was taken, but Garlinton counts it a blessing no one was hurt when it happened.

"Somebody could have been down at the church, because we have the women coming in and out of the church sometimes doing things," said Garlington.

Just up the street at Young Memorial Church, thieves cleaned out about two freezers worth of food that would have been given out during the church`s Tuesday night food pantry. The break-ins come at a challenging time for church. Summer is when giving is typically down.

"Families are taking vacations. You`ve got to get ready for your kids to go to school," said Garlinton.

Most of the members at his church are elderly and on fixed incomes. They give what they can. Members of both churches say they don`t have any hard feelings towards the culprits, especially if they`re in need.

"You don`t have to steal. You don`t have to take it, because we`ll give it to you," said Pastor Henson.

"Whoever did it, we forgive you but come back. Come back through the front doors and let us know how we can help you," said Garlington.

The break-ins started around July 26th. The three churches are all in the area of N. 9th and Greeley. If you know anything about these break-ins call police or the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.