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Burglars hit church kitchen, food pantry

RICHMOND, Ind. – Burglars backed a truck up to an eastern Indiana church and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of appliances and food that parishioners collected for a pantry that feeds people in need, police said.

Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa said his department continues to investigate the April 16 burglary at the North 27 Worship Center. He called the break-in “just deplorable” considering the Richmond church’s mission of helping people by providing them with food.

“Here you have a location that is trying to do good for people, and someone who is obviously aware of that steals from them and takes away from what that congregation has been doing to help people in need,” Cappa told the Palladium-Item (

The burglars backed a truck up to the rear of the church and stole a refrigerator, stainless steel cooking utensils and cookware, microwave ovens and coffee makers.

Pastor Robert Johnson said more than $500 worth of food also was stolen from the church’s food pantry ministry, while the burglars also removed a large amount of frozen food from a freezer and left it on the floor.

The break-in was discovered the following day, by which time the food dumped on the floor had thawed and was spoiling, he said.

“They just took what they didn’t want and threw it on the floor,” Johnson said.

Contractors arrived Monday to install a security system at the church. Johnson said the church had considered getting such a system in the past, but after last week’s incident, the time had come to act.

“It was very frustrating,” he said. “Last week was a bad week for me.”