Gaston County church targeted in series of break-ins


GASTONIA, N.C. — A Gastonia church has been targeted by thieves and church leaders say a recent theft may be their worst yet.

Church leaders say $14,000 worth of equipment was taken from their buses. 

While FOX 46 was out interviewing them Thursday afternoon, they noticed a battery that was taken from one of the vehicles here, but it’s not just that. It was a laptop, musical equipment, and more, all of which was meant for community outreach.

You can still see the mess that’s left at the Living Water Community Worship Center: Broken glass from one of the cars and a mess on the ground.

For those that worship here, they’re frustrated and disappointed.

“To me, it’s just a slap in the face,” church member Timothy Chapman said. 

Chapman is a church member, head of security, DJ, and all-about renaissance man for the church. He says, sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, someone got into the church vehicles and made off with thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

“Sound equipment, generators, laptops, batteries,” Chapman said. 

All of it, Chapman says, were used for performances the congregation would do for nursing homes, and throughout the community.
“We try and build it so we can go out and evangelize and bring people to God.” 

The latest report is the sixth filed in just the last two years by the church, which is why they put a security system in place before the most recent thefts.

Over the weekend, however, there was a problem. Last week’s storms knocked out internet access to the cameras, making it perfect for the thieves to take action.

“I noticed the buses door open, windows busted on the van,” Chapman said. 

He says what happened here happened to a great pastor and a great congregation.

“We try to stay active in the community, we’ve been in operation since 2007.” 

That’s why this theft truly stings. 

“People just don’t bother churches.” 

The church says they, simply, want the stuff back and all would be forgiven, but if anyone has any information on who stole the items, you’re asked to call Gastonia Police.

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