Church bur­glar steals do­na­tion

Marlborough Express - - NEWS - JEF­FREY KITT

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.

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