DETROIT – An Episcopal church on Detroit’s west side has been robbed three times within the span of a month.
Rector Donald Lutas says his congregation cannot afford to replace everything that’s been stolen, and he is angry with Detroit police, saying parishioners are doing all they can to keep the church safe.
Lutas came to church early to prepare for Sunday service and the first thing he noticed was shattered glass.
"This is a house of worship, for crying out loud. If this has no reverence or there’s no sense of security here, where can one get security?" said Lutas.
Lutas says the St. Cyprian Episcopal Church on Detroit’s west side has been robbed three times. Once last month and twice in just the past week.
Over the course of these break-ins, thieves stole a PA system, mic wires, electronics and the church’s keyboard.
"That’s key to leading your worship. It will cost another $3-4000 to replace," said Lutas.
Lutas is frustrated with Detroit Police, saying it took hours for officers to respond on Sunday.
"I called the cops at 10:15 a.m. and they showed up at 1:45 p.m. No one showed up at the other two," said Lutas.
Lutas says the church may be forced to move, or worse, close its doors as the financial hardships of the robberies are becoming too much for parishioners.
"It’s a lot of hopelessness. Where do you go, who do you turn to? Do you pack up and move and move to where?" said Lutas.
The church does not have working alarms, but the rector says alarms have done little to deter thieves in the past.
Lutas says his church is not the only church in this area to be robbed recently.
DPD says officers did respond to the second robbery, but no one was here at the time. They are investigating.
The church has been placed under “special attention," meaning more patrols for next three days.