Thieves break into northwest side church for second time in recent months

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis church fell victim to a smash and grab break-in for the second time in just over four months.

The latest burglary took place Tuesday night on Indy’s northwest side.

“They were able to pry out the deadbolt to get into the building,” said Pastor Mike Maleto.

Pastor Maleto says after snapping off the deadbolt, someone snuck inside the church and stole televisions, video game systems and games.

“Your heart breaks, but then it quickly reminds us why we’re here,” said Maleto.

Life Church Eagle Creek uses the back room for a weekly youth ministry. While Mike is upset the thieves ignored scripture, he hopes whoever broke their deadbolt and stole their electronics learns a life lesson.

“We’re here hopefully to be a force for change and good. Even the person that did this, our hope would be we would express forgiveness in a way that would change their lives,” said Maleto.

The break-in mirrored a similar crime four months ago. Police reports show late last year thieves broke into the same church and again stole video game systems.

Several years ago, Maleto says a Pike student vandalized one of their church vans, but later came clean and turned his life around.

“Now that young man is a missionary that we support in Brussels Belgium,” said Maleto. “It was that exact opportunity not to punish or prosecute but to show forgiveness and it changed his life. Nothing would give us more of a charge than if that would happen again.”

With the door damaged, church leaders temporarily secured the building with a large board. They hope the second break-in proves to be the last.

“We take security very seriously. We took some measures last time and we’ll add some measures to that, again not to punish or prosecute, but to prevent. We’d like to prevent this from happening again,” said Maleto.

So far no arrests have been made in the case. Anyone with information on the case can contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.

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