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Frustrated thieves vandalize Eastpointe church during break-in

Church thieves steal $80, but leave behind $2,000 in damages

EASTPOINTE, Mich. – An Eastpointe church was the victim of thieves turned vandals overnight.  

The thieves who broke into Immanuel United Methodist Church got about $80 in cash and when they saw how little it was they lashed out and left behind about $2,000 in damage.

The irony: Had they demonstrated a real need, this generous congregation would have given them more than they stole.

The thieves threw everything they could find at an old safe in the church. They even used a sabre saw. This is the second oldest church in Eastpointe. Had they opened the safe they would have found 160 years worth of historical documents -- not the kind of treasure they were looking for.  

And in their frustration at the safe’s resilience, they went on a rampage.

“It’s a gut-wrenching feeling of, 'Wow, someone is trying to destroy what we’re trying to do in this community,'" said Pastor Albert Rush.

Vicki Raybaud, the church secretary, called it a "really low thing."

"Because we really try help people all the time," she said.

Raybaud’s office of 26 years got the worst of it. The money the thieves did get was intended for community outreach.

"Our women’s group is a mission-oriented thing, and we support returning veterans and Children’s Hospital, that kind of stuff, all the time," she said.

The thieves left behind computers and everything in the sanctuary untouched. The pastor figures it was because someone was watching them, and that maybe this is a good sign.

"My belief is if someone is trying to stop us from doing our ministry, and they’re going to try and break into our church, then we’re doing the thing’s God wants us to do, because it’s making the Devil unhappy. And we’re going to move forward," said Rush.

They’re not surprised at the break-in, but shocked at the maliciousness of it.  They’ll invest in a security system in the future. For now, they will pray for the intruders.