The Burns Lake Community Church has suffered a setback worth $8,000 in damage and stolen items. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

The Burns Lake Community Church has suffered a setback worth $8,000 in damage and stolen items. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Break-in at Burns Lake Community Church

RCMP explores possible connection with the Houston churches’ break-ins

The Burns Lake Community Church had a break-in last month.

”I walked into my office in the morning and was shocked to see a mess. It looked like a scene I’ve seen in movies when burglars ransack a place searching for something in particular. My computer and monitor were missing, plus a laptop and two LCD projectors and a portable amplifier,” said Pastor John Neufeld of the church.

The church located at 530 Kerr Road in Burns Lake was broken into and computers and electronics were taken between Mar. 22 and 23. According to Neufeld, the replacement costs for the stolen and damaged items would be around $8,000.

“A near-empty drinking box was sitting on the floor next to a carved wooden grizzly bear which had been taken off a bookshelf. It made me think a little child might have been there too,” he said.

Neufeld said that the perpetrators had pried open fire escape doors and while most doors were unlocked inside, the one locked door on the balcony was kicked in.

“They didn’t appear to want to do purposeful vandalism,” he remarked. “With papers strewn everywhere it appeared as though the thief was searching for money and/or cheques. Then I looked at our offering box in the foyer and it had been hacked apart. A small amount of cash was taken. Other rooms were ransacked—-for what? I don’t know.”

Earlier last month, two break-ins were reported in Houston, one at the Houston Christian Reformed Church and the second one at the Houston Fellowship Baptist Church. While nothing was stolen at the Houston Christian Reformed Church, over $40,000 worth of electronic equipment was stolen from the Houston Fellowship Baptist Church.

”It’s not a major setback, but it is disheartening to experience such a thing, and extra sad to hear of other churches being targeted,” said Neufeld.

According to the Burns Lake RCMP sergeant Shaunna Lewis, a connection between the break and enters in Houston with similar tactics and property stolen, and the break and enter in Burns Lake is being considered.

“Neighbouring detachments have also been informed. RCMP are asking the public to keep an eye on their urban and rural churches which are recently being targeted by criminals. Please report suspicious activity immediately,” she said.

Neufeld, who was shocked by the events said that he wanted people to understand that buildings are not of utmost importance but people are.

“And, if I hadn’t said “yes” to Jesus myself, to let him change my life many years ago, I could be the one violating other people’s lives and properties too—-because I know that in our human natures, all of us are sinners in need of forgiveness and transformation,” he said.

– with files from Rod Link


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Tree; Burns Lake library. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)
Dragon Tree christened

The Burns Lake Public Library contest for dragon and tree names has… Continue reading

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Most Read