GC church becomes target for crime

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 Messenger photo by Andrea Cordle
 The Faith Community Church in Grove City is losing money because of thieves. Volunteers are building an addition for Sunday school but someone stole their lumber. This is the third theft at the church in the past six months.

The Faith Community Church at the corner of Alkire and Demorest roads wants neighbors to keep a watchful eye.

According to Shirley Ball, church treasurer and member of the board of trustees, the small community church is now out a few thousand dollars due to theft.

"That may not seem like a lot of money but when you’re a small church – it is," said Ball. "We just don’t have enough money for someone to be stealing from us."

Sometime between 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 8 a.m. on Nov. 4, someone stole approximately 70 10-feet-long roof trusses from the church. At the beginning of October the church decided to build an addition that would house a few Sunday school classes. Ball explained that the church has nearly 75 members that are mostly senior citizens.

"It is imperative for us to get a Sunday school so we can bring kids into the church and continue our congregation," she said.

Volunteers from the church are building the extension. They were hoping to have the outside frame complete by the beginning of December. The recent theft has set back that date.

"Now we will have to re-buy the materials," said Ball. "It will not stop our project but it will delay it."

This is not the only theft problem the church has faced. Although they have an alarm on the church, according to Ball, the storage shed has been broken into twice in the past six months. The culprits stole a lawn mower, two weed trimmers and a 20-gallon gas can.

The church had installed motion lights around the property but they were busted out when the shed was targeted.

Ball said they filed a police report with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department when items were stolen from the shed. They did not report the roof trusses. Instead, they decided to take matters into their own hands. Church volunteers are sitting out and watching the property on shifts. They have wired their alarm system to a nearby house so if it goes off, the neighbors can notify the police.

They have also stored the equipment inside the addition, then they nail plywood to the open doors and windows so it would take extra effort to get in.

"They would have to take a hammer and pry their way in," said Ball.

Ball does not think anyone is out to get the church. She said it is targeted because of its location.

"It sits out all by itself and it’s far enough away from the road. You just can’t see what’s going on."

She added, "There is a lot of noise constantly coming from the freeway and all this is happening at night."

When construction of the new addition is complete, Ball said the church will install an alarm system. They are asking that if you see any unusual activity that you call police.

"The money is coming out of our own pockets, which is difficult for our little congregation" said Ball. "We just want neighbors to be alert."

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