Members of Early Hope Baptist Church were shocked to find thieves had ransacked church offices between Friday night and Saturday morning and made off with newly purchased computer equipment.
"It's an ungodly thing to do," said Deacon Gabe White. "It was just shocking, to think there were people out there that would do something like this."
Church members had left the church late Friday night after a wedding rehearsal and discovered the vandalism about 2 p.m. Saturday. The thieves likely gained entry through a window that had been left slightly open, said White.
There was no graffiti, but the perpetrators had gone through all the file cabinets, dumped the files all over the floor, busted open a prayer box and jimmied the doors. The thieves also helped themselves to a juice box from the refrigerator, took out but left a bottle of Tylenol and stole a framed $5 bill that had been given to the church during a clean up effort, said Pastor Kenneth Williams.
It seemed as though they went through the church looking for what they could grab quickly, said White.
The church had recently purchased the equipment valued between $2,500 and $3,000, within the last year. The projector had been purchased at the beginning of the month.
"Nothing has every really happened like this in 125 years," White said.
The church is offering a reward of $1,000 leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s). Anyone with information can contact the church at (770) 786-8318 or the Newton County Sheriff's Office at (678) 625-1400. Anonymous tips can be left at (678) 625-5007 and online at www.newtonsheriff.ga.org.