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Thieves Swipe Tools from Church in Carbon County

BOWMANSTOWN -- Police are looking for the thieves who stole thousands of dollars' worth of tools and equipment from a church in Carbon County. The theft happened over the New Year's holiday, but church officials didn't realize it until Thursday morning.

The tools and equipment were stolen from a garage at the Faith Alive United Methodist Church.

There are a lot of bare shelves inside the garage of the church near Palmerton.

"The tool box was here, and it was a big Craftsman commercial toolbox, full of tools. Another tool box set here."

Now almost all the church's tools are gone. Sometime over the New Year's holiday, thieves broke into the church's garage in Bowmanstown and stole the tools, along with some of the church's groundskeeping equipment.

"You almost feel violated, like, they had the nerve to come in the church and just take," said church administrator Renee DeHaven.

DeHaven believes whoever did this had some familiarity with the garage and had a detailed plan.

"They covered a window on the street side so the neighbors wouldn't see a light on, so it was most likely during the night."

The thieves also broke in through the only old window in the garage. Because of the age of the window, they were able to break the hinge and force it open.

"I really couldn't quite believe it because when I walked up to the garage, there was some debris outside of a window, where they had loaded up a truck, apparently, and some items just fell on the ground," explained maintenance worker Jim Sandt.

Sandt was the one who noticed the church's tools missing. He typically uses the tools as he helps with the church's maintenance. That job is going to be a little harder to do now until the tools and equipment are replaced.

"They are pretty expensive. Altogether, I am guessing about $3,000 worth of items to replace."

The church is now working with their insurance company to replace the stolen items.

This is the second time the Faith Alive Methodist Church has been burglarized and officials there are now speeding up plans to get surveillance cameras.

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