|St. Agnes robbed|
NG News Editor
Published: Jun 29, 2011
The offices of St. Agnes Anglican Church were ransacked and a safe with important documents and money stolen sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning, according to its rector, Archdeacon I. Ranfurly Brown.
The thieves entered through a northern window of the building on Blue Hill Road by breaking the panes and cutting the iron security bars, Brown said.
The office building is located next to the historic church.
Brown said the break-in was discovered just before 7 a.m.
He said it had to have taken more that one person to carry the safe back through the window and over the wall that surrounds the structure.
Brown was unsure how much money was in the safe, but he said money was kept there to assist needy people who come to the church looking for help.
“Every day people come for help — for light bill money, rent, mortgage and things of that kind,” he said, adding that the thieves “did a lot of damage.”
Inside the offices, documents and other items were strewn about the place.
Yesterday evening, workmen were still cleaning up behind the thieves, repairing the window and replacing the security bars.
Brown said that cost the church several hundred dollars, which could have been used to help people in need.
“They just searched everywhere,” he said. “They went through all the filing cabinets. So we have to spend some time to put it all back in order.
“It’s frustrating because the church is in the middle of a community that’s always asking for help and when things like this happen, the resources that you use to assist them are depleted in two ways: The actual source is depleted. The other source of having to take some of that to repair, it’s expensive.”
Brown pointed out that the side of the church office building through which the thieves entered is the side of the structure that is lit at night.
The church had a break-in last year, but the rector said it was minor compared to this latest one.
Recognizing that the robbery came amid ongoing concerns about crime, Brown said, “The crime situation tells us that we need to focus on people and not things, and see how best we can reform people and cause things to happen for the good of our people. The more we talk, the worse it gets.
“Leaders have to listen and then come up with the right solutions as to how best you can deal with people.”
Brown pointed to the dire situation faced by many people in the community that surrounds St. Agnes.
“I wish I had millions of dollars so I could do the kinds of programs that this community needs,” he said. “And even farther down.”
Brown said political and religious leaders must recognize that stronger action is needed on crime.
“Stop focusing on things,” he reiterated. “Things come, things go but people affect everything in our lives, in our communities.
“When we reach the stage of our lives where people have no respect for sacred ground, then we have a serious problem.”
Superintendent Leon Bethell, head of the Central Division of the police force, said last night police had no leads in connection with the break-in.
“We are seeking intelligence,” Bethell said. “We need to clear this up as quickly as possible.”