Thief rips open Northland church’s storage trailer and steals $8,000 worth of equipment

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- A small church in the Northland is out thousands of dollars after someone stole audio and video equipment the church had intended to sell

The equipment was sitting in a U-Haul truck that belonged to Restoration Church in Liberty and was park on the side of the church building. The culprit not only cut the lock to the back door of the trailer, but also tore through its roof.

“They peeled it back like a sardine can,” said John Stafford, the lead pastor at the Restoration Church. “It’s almost like they purposefully destroyed this thing.”

Inside the truck was an estimated $8,000 worth of video and audio equipment. The items and the truck were donated by a retired minister, and the church was in the process of selling what they didn’t need.

“There was a soundboard, at least two PA speakers, two powered amps, a keyboard, stools, microphones, a projector,” Stafford said of the items taken.

On Thursday, Stafford noticed someone had slashed one of the tires to the truck, cut the gas line, broke in and stole the equipment.

“What we were thinking with the police is they had been watching it,” he said. “Someone came and cut the gas line so we couldn’t move the vehicle and they came back later and did whatever they needed to do.”

Stafford calls it a “massive loss” to his congregation of less than 100 members.

“Even if they stole the equipment, at least we could sell this U-Haul. This is gone now,” he said, pointing to the truck in disbelief.

The church has insurance, but Stafford said their deducible is so high that it’s not worth making a claim.

“We don’t want to file a claim and have that against us if something massive were to happen to our church,” he explained.

Stafford said the church forgives whoever stole from them and destroyed the truck, but they need to be held accountable.

“We just want our stuff back,” he added.

There were no cameras within sight of where the truck was parked. However, Stafford said a lot of the equipment stolen had “church” imprinted on it.

Liberty police are investigating and asked that anyone with information call them or the TIPS Hotline at 474-TIPS.

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