Church burglar steals donation
A church community has been left ‘‘shell-shocked’’ after a burglar ransacked their place of worship and stole money raised by children for children.
Blenheim’s Harvest Life Church was broken into sometime last week, with the culprit making off with money from a fundraiser for less-fortunate children around the world.
Although the offender only got about $100, church administrator Joan Macown said she was gutted.
‘‘It was that they had taken money which was raised by the kids for other children around the world,’’ she said.
‘‘I guess we’re all a little shellshocked because it’s really not what you would expect.’’
Marlborough community Constable Russ Smith said the burglar forced open a window, only to realise it led to a small area deadlocked from the outside.
He or she went back through the window and broke into a nearby office in the same building. It happened sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning last week.
Macown said she arrived at the church on Thursday and the colour drained from her face.
‘‘[The burglar] was pretty determined and pretty thorough.’’
Harvest Life would review its procedures on security and the storage of valuables in the wake of the burglary, Macown said.
Smith said leaving cash on the premises was a recipe for disaster.
Police had responded to a spate of burglaries which concentrated on cash in the past week.
A commercial premise on Sutherland Tce was burgled of petty cash after an offender forced a roller-door over the weekend.
There had been similar burglaries in the Picton area where premises had been broken into and the offender appeared to be after cash.
It was too early to tell if the burglaries were connected but they shared a target, Smith said.
‘‘Some people just don’t have much respect, whether that be for a church or somebody’s livelihood,’’ he said.