NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – For the second time in less than a week, burglars have victimized a church in the same area of Northwest Miami-Dade and its prominent pastor is saying “enough is enough.”
“There’s been a rash of burglaries in churches here in Northwest Miami-Dade and enough is enough,” said the Rev. Richard Dunn, the Senior Pastor for the past four years at the Faith Community Baptist Church at 10401 NW 8th Ave.
“I feel violated. Very violated,” said Dunn. “These are the personal memoirs here in my office for the last quarter century. I was told by police that criminals are after these electronic items.”
Dunn, a former Miami City Commissioner, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the total loss in stolen items and damage to the church was up to $50,000.
He said the burglars stole a half-dozen TV monitors, a number of TV sets, and a series of other electronic items. There was damage to, and items stolen from, the power amplifiers that the church needs for its services at 7:30 am and 10:30 a.m. on Sundays.
In a tour of the church, Dunn said, “They started by cutting the cables to the security alarms, the fire alarms and the cable system sometime late last night or early today.”
“They went through all of the drawers and took everything of value they could find. They stole petty cash. They even took a safe. They took items that are used by our youngsters. Thank God they did not damage the computers.”
“They took a 42-inch TV from this bracket right here. Look at the cables hanging. There’s no TV. This hurts a working class church. These are tough times. Desperate people do desperate things,” said Dunn.
“But it is a sad commentary where there is no respect for God or the church.”
Dunn said the church was insured. He said the church has no surveillance cameras but he now may invest in them.
“We can not let this deter us,” said Dunn. “We must still do God’s work.”
Looking at the damage and thinking of the latest weather, Dunn said, “This was a storm. A perfect storm. I mean who would want to come to a church during a storm?”
Associate Pastor Greg White said, “I feel devastated and violated. When I got the call about this, I felt like someone had broken into my house. It shows how serious this is because this is a place of worship, a place of peace.”
Theodore Gilley, a deacon at the church, said, “Before I go to work every day I check on the church and when I walked in this morning, I was devastated to find God’s house was destroyed. This is God’s house where we worship and pray. For someone to do this was hard hearted. But I know that God is ultimately the Judge and he will restore.”
Not far from the Faith Community Baptist Church, the Missionary Evangelist Baptist Church at 1766 NW 95th St. was also victimized by burglars either late last Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Associate Pastor, Taderryl Mumford, told D’Oench that the burglars broke in throught a back window and ransacked the church. He said they stole about $3,000 worth of equipment, including power amplifiers that are needed for the church’s 11 a.m. services on Sunday.
It was that church’s second burglary in the past three months.
“We don’t feel good that someone would come in to the Lord’s house and take some things that don’t belong to them,” said Mumford. “It hinders us from the type of service we should have and it shouldn’t happen that way.”
“I do believe that with whoever came in and disturbed the Lord that favor will never be on their side,” said Mumford.
Mumford said no arrests had been made in the burglaries. But he said he believed that in the latest burglary that Miami-Dade Police had some evidence, including fingerprints.
Mumford said his church was also insured for its losses.
If you can help Miami-Dade police solve this case, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.