Burglars Hit Ten SW Iowa Churches

To some it would seem some Iowa criminals are going out of their way to tempt fate.

At least ten churches have been burglarized in a four county area about an hour east of the metro area.

Those counties are Page, Cass, Montgomery and Taylor.

WOWT 6 News was there Friday and many people are asking how could anyone stoop so low?

Leon Klindt is intentionally damaging the walls in St. John's Church near Lyman, Iowa.

They're remodeling the kitchen here.

Burglars did more damage than this last week.

"What we have we can't afford to have thieves take," Klindt said.
"They had gone through our office and gone through our alter area looking for money."

All the crooks got was a coffee maker and a penny jar where the congregation is raising money for starving children in Africa.

Two miles down Highway 71, Noble United Methodist was also burglarized.

Thieves busted down a door and stole electronic equipment.

Still further south, the Methodist Church in Grant, Iowa was also victimized.

These crimes are a double edged sword.

The thefts hurt more in smaller communities where there are so few church members remaining.

Churches provide the only symbol of hope.

In Stanton just east of Red Oak, Pastor Eric Kutzli of Mamrelund Lutheran Church says the damage is worse than the theft.

"They pried open the furnace room door," he said.

His church never keeps cash on hand.

In this case, the crime impacts those who simply want to hear the word.

"They took the hearing assistance receivers for the hard of hearing folks, which I don't know what market there is for that," he said.

Pastor Kutzli said this isn't a crime against one of us...it affects us all.

"It's not just one person's property it's a whole community's property," he said.

Pastor Kutzli said a just punishment for those responsible...ask forgiveness of every member of each church before Sunday morning services.

Sheriff's departments are also asking for our help to report anything we hear about the burglaries immediately.

They believe all ten burglaries are related.

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