Thieves target Fresno church

FRESNO, Calif. Pastors at the Holy Ground Family Fellowship off Ashlan and Millbrook are still counting up their losses after the latest break in.

Services will go on this weekend, without the audio equipment members are used to having during worship. Thousands of dollars worth of church property was stolen.

One of the pastors has a message for the thieves. "If you still have your conscience, you should respect god."

Thieves pried open a back door before ransacking the church ... taking everything valuable they could find.

Associate Pastor Gunder Balista is sad and disheartened. The congregation of 160 members doesn't have the money to replace what's been taken. Plus, church leaders want to focus first on preventing any further break-ins.

"Double locks probably. Or some kind of double doors where it's made of steel," said Balista.

The church has been hit several times before. Thieves broke down the door of a storage shed and took all of the lawn maintenance equipment.

"What were inside are the two lawnmowers, the two blowers, one trimmer and one brush."

Then the door on another shed was kicked in and all the churches camping gear was stolen. It's left church leaders feeling very vulnerable.

"We are not safe, we are not safe anymore. That's how we feel."

Since the church sits in the middle of a neighborhood Fresno Police say the best form of security would be reaching out those who live nearby and asking them to help keep a watchful eye.

Fresno Police Department, Jeff Cardinale said, "That's the number one crime prevention tool. If burglars know that an area is being watched. They are going to stay away from it."

Pastor Balista hopes the suspects recognize their wrongdoing and return the stolen items. He wants them to remember one thing his church believes.

"Even though you are doing it. God sees you, where you are. And when he gives his judgment. God will see to it that's it's being implemented."

The church already has an alarm system in place. They believe there are several suspects and based on the items taken, some type of vehicle had to have been used. If you have any information, Fresno Police want to hear from you.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.