WHITTIER (CBSLA.com) – Burglars broke into a Whittier church Wednesday evening, making off with thousands of dollars’ worth of items, cash and gift cards.
The burglary is believed to have occurred between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, located at 11345 Miller Rd. Complicating matters is that the crime happened just four days before Easter, one of the busiest weekends of the year for the church.
“At first I just heard that someone had broken in and I was hoping and praying that it wasn’t everything, but, it was,” band leader George Simmons said.
Church leaders report the suspects stole five guitars and microphones, used by their worship band. One of the stolen guitars is a Les Paul worth several thousand dollars. The suspects also took cash and gift cards that were slated to go to those in need.
The burglars broke several doors. The church estimates that the damage and theft amounted to a loss of about $10,000.
“We’re a congregation that helps out, we help with the cold weather shelter that helps homeless,” Pastor Ashley Nicolls said. “They (the burglars) can come to us, they still can, if they need help.”
A neighbor snapped a picture of the possible suspect vehicle. He said he saw three boys running out with bags and instruments, then hopping into a maroon Scion.
“You know, if they need something, they can always come back and, you know, we’ll welcome them, we will help them, there’s no hurt feelings,” Congregant Maralynne Mann said.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help raise money to replace the stolen items. To donate, click here.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating.