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Police: Auburn church vandalized, burglarized over the weekend

  • Updated

AUBURN | Police are investigating a burglary at an Auburn church over the weekend.

Suspects broke into the Roosevelt Memorial Baptist Church at some point Sunday night, according to the Auburn Police Department. Officers investigated the church, at 101 Fitch Ave. on Monday afternoon.

Police said they were also investigating a break-in at the Apostolic Church of the Lord Jesus Christ across the street. The investigation is ongoing.

The Rev. Robert E. Wilson, pastor, said a member of the church's board of trustees stopped by to drop off a bank deposit receipt when he noticed a light was on in the kitchen.

The board member then went up to the finance office and saw someone tried to break open the church's safe but was unsuccessful.

After speaking with police, Wilson said he believed the perpetrators broke into the church through a side window on the lower level.

The finance office and Wilson's office sustained the most damage. Police found communion candles, office supplies, towels and remnants of feces strewn across the pastor's office. Both office doors were also cut open and kicked in. 

For Wilson, the pastor said, what was perplexing was not much of value was taken. Wilson believed the only items removed from the church were a few keys and a pair of Bluetooth speakers. 

"It pretty much tells me, 'Well we can't find what we want, so we'll just tear everything up before we leave,'" Wilson said, speaking from the church stairwell Monday. 

Wilson, a pastor for nearly 11 years, said he hasn't had any issues in the past with break-ins or thefts. He moved to Auburn from Alabama in 1960 when he was six years old, and has been involved in the church since he was eight. 

Wilson took on his current position after the former pastor and his brother-in-law, John Humphrey, died in 1995.

He said the break in is "ridiculous" given the financial state of churches around this time of year, his included. 

Wilson said he still plans to still hold a service on Sunday. He expects to have everything cleaned up over the next few days.

"I just wanted to let them know that you can tear all the doors down, kick all the windows out but God's house will be restored and things will go on," he said.

Staff writer Jordyn Reiland can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or Follow her on Twitter @JordynReiland.


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