Pastor sets up mentoring program after speaking with teens who stole security cameras from church

Update: Pastor Taylor says the teen boys have been identified. The pastor met with the families and is working on a mentoring program for the boys to get involved in. He said he'd rather see them learn their lesson than worry about getting them arrested.

Original story:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A small east side Indianapolis church was hit by vandals twice in less than a week.

The suspects stole a half dozen security cameras from the Nu Destiny Christian Church near 42nd Street and Mitthoefer Road.

Strolling through the church parking lot last week, one of the young men decides to pull down a security camera, cutting the feed to black. The suspects then returned Monday night and stole more cameras.

“It shows how our society is.There used to be a time where people respected the church. Now, they don't respect the church anymore,” said senior pastor Jerome Taylor.

After tearing down the first camera, a suspect appears surprised to see additional cameras mounted on the church and the second seems to say, “He did it.”

Church leaders say the pair eventually tore down all six cameras on the outside of the church, leaving nothing but wires behind.  The suspects may have hoped to destroy evidence of their crime, but they only succeeded is breaking the cameras.

“They just saw cameras and tore them down. You can't do nothing with it after you tear it down. It’s no good anymore after that,” said Taylor.

Taylor says the vandalism is disappointing because his church works hard to help the community. The suspects also smashed a glass window for no apparent reason.

Taylor thinks the crime illustrates the importance of having programs aimed at keeping young men off the streets and out of trouble.

“I think it’s real sad. We need more after school programs for our youth,” said Taylor.

Pastor Taylor is less concerned about making an arrest than he is teaching the suspects a life lesson.

“We're not mad at them. We just want to help them,” said Taylor.  “I’d explain to them you need to respect other people’s property and especially a church.”

The cameras cost a couple hundred dollars each. Anyone with information on the suspects seen in the video is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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