(04/02/19) Religion is the heart of El Dorado. With several churches being options for places of worship, lately it has become targets for crime.
The Cross Life Church, Greater Paradise Baptist Church and First Church of El Dorado were all hit in 24 hours.
“They rummaged through stuff, turned over some chairs and they opened all of the cabinet doors,” said Matthew Wolfskill, Associate Pastor at Cross Life Church.
The only item missing from their church was an iPad in their media room. The thieves had an opportunity to take tv’s, computers and sound systems but they were only looking for cash.
A jar of coins was taken from both Greater Paradise and First Church of El Dorado. First Church of El Dorado was hit twice in a week, prompting them to secure their open place of worship.
ADT Security Services Sales Representative, Gina Jacuzzi, travels to almost two churches a week to quote prices for alarm systems.
“It’s picked up. The violence that’s happened around the world, people want to protect their parishoners,” Jacuzzi said.
A jar of coins was also taken from Greater Paradise. What the thieves took doesn’t amount to the cost of damages, which is affecting more than just the church’s pockets.
“It’s an annual event so a couple of months we’ve been saving up a jar full of change for the children for our upcoming youth convention,” said Pastor Michael Pierce of Greater Paradise Baptist Church.
Many say there’s no respect for churches like it used to be.
“I don’t understand,” Jacuzzi said. “I always thought of churches being sacred and they are no longer sacred.
She encourages churches, businesses and homes to get an alarm system. When thieves know you’re secured, it keeps them away.
“I just know that when there is a security system, signs and stickers identifying there’s a security system, the percentage of people that are going to get robbed or broken into goes down dramatically,” Jacuzzi said.
If you have any information about the break-ins, contact the El Dorado Police Department.