WOODLAND HILLS—On Monday, May 29, $30,000 worth of equipment, electronics, and cash was stolen from the Woodland Hills Community Church.
The burglary occurred between the hours of 3 a.m., when cleaning crews left, and 9 a.m., when a nursery school teacher arrived and discovered the break-in. According to Pastor Craig Peterson, the culprits stole two laptops, two projectors, a new electronic keyboard, a sound board, and most of the church’s microphones, all of which were used during services. A safe containing food and gas cards for the needy, cash from the Sunday offering, and checks from community partners was also stolen.
The burglars allegedly entered the chapel and pried open several doors, leaving damaged door frames and locks. They gained access to the back office, where the safe was located, and the front office, where electronics were stored. According to Pastor Peterson, this is the first burglary he has encountered in his eight years at the parish. The incident occurred days before the church’s annual music service on Sunday, June 4, which members have been planning for months.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the church. According to the page, Woodland Hills Community Church has been progressive and all-inclusive since it was founded in 1947, welcoming “any race, creed, orientation or station in life.” Dr. Martin Luther King was one of the first speakers at the church in 1961. The church also runs a nursery school, a community theater group, 12-step programs for recovering addicts, and English language classes, according to Los Angeles Daily News.
“This neighborhood gem is just filled with goodness and they have been dealt a mighty blow,” said Katy McNamara, who set up the GoFundMe campaign. “If you can please give any amount is gratefully accepted.”
To make donations, visit here.