Knox Presbyterian Church hard-pressed to cover burglary loss
Wed., July 22, 2015
When Karen Colvin arrived at work Tuesday morning, she discovered that someone had broken into her office inside Knox Presbyterian Church in north-central Spokane and taken two computers and most of their accessories, including an external hard drive and the computer mice. But they left one keyboard.
The thieves also took a small stereo off her desk and a vacuum cleaner. Small dishes that once held candles sit empty on a countertop.
“They took weird things,” said Colvin, the church’s administrator. “They took our water cooler, but they left one of our full bottles of water.”
They also took several trash cans, presumably to make it easier to haul items away. But they left behind a decorative angel figurine that Colvin kept on top of her computer tower.
“I’m glad they left my little angel,” she said as she held it in her clasped hands.
It was apparent that the thieves had opened drawers and rummaged around, she said.
“I think they were looking for cash, but I don’t have any,” she said.
The church’s video surveillance shows a man trying doors at the church around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, Colvin said. Then he went to the back of the church in the alley and pried the lock off a door that led to the basement gym. He took the hinges off an internal door to gain entry to the rest of the church.
The door to the church office was secured by a dead bolt, so the man heaved a fire extinguisher through the glass portion of the door and stood on a chair to crawl inside.
Surveillance video shows a suspected accomplice driving a car through the alley behind the church with its headlights off.
The loss of the computers will hit the church the hardest, Colvin said. They contained all the records maintained by the church, and Colvin won’t be able to put together the weekly bulletin in time for Sunday’s service. Church members put most of the services together themselves.
A retired pastor comes once a month to lead a worship service.
The church has only 89 members and many are older, Colvin said. The church, which was established in 1888, doesn’t have a lot of resources and replacing the computers will be difficult, she said.
Still, Colvin is grateful the loss wasn’t worse.
“They didn’t trash the place,” she said. “It was clearly someone who came to get what they could sell.”
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