KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri church that was robbed three months ago was hit again this past Sunday. But this time the thief was caught on tape and the church needs the public’s help identifying him.
“He just ripped all that and tore all the column up,” said Pastor Lawrence Nevels, pointing to the damage on the steering column of his church van. It was the third time Fellowship Right Baptist Church had been targeted by vandals and thieves in the last 18 months.
Nevels’ discovered the latest break in last Sunday afternoon, just a few hours after services ended at his church on Pittman Road near Raytown. This time the perpetrator was caught on camera.
“To have somebody come that time of day when cars are just riding by,” said the pastor, shaking his head. “This is an individual to me that is very dangerous. If he does it to us, he’s subject to do it to anyone.”
Missing from the church garage are ladders, weed wackers and a push mower. But the most expensive damage was to the church van and the $3,000 garage door that the church had just installed a few months ago after the last break in.
“It was a sturdier door to keep them from breaking in,” Nevels said.
The pastor is hoping that video of the thief from multiple security cameras might help police find the man responsible.
The video shows the driver behind the wheel of a beat-up pickup truck which was being used to ram the garage door. It then shows him loading items from the garage into the bed of truck, including the weed wacker.
Kansas City police were given the video.
Sunday’s break- in was particularly frustrating, said Nevels, because the church has gone to great lengths to protect itself from thieves.
When someone stole the church’s air conditioner three years ago, the chuch installed a locked metal gate around the new one. After a $5,000 riding mower was stolen from the same garage 18 months ago, the church moved the new mower to a more secure location. Plus it added metal bars to the floor of the garage and installed a security camera system. Then, three months ago, when that same garage got hit again, the church dipped into its coffers to pay for a better garage door.
Now the church is asking for the public’s help in finding the man pictured in the video and is offering a $300 reward.
“We do want people to help us get this individual off the street,” Nevels said.