Churches are known for handing out Bibles and willingly spreading the gospel. On Easter Sunday, though, rather than asking for copies of the book, a man allegedly broke into St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Vallejo, California, and attempted to steal two copies of the Bible following church service. One local news reporter dubbed the incident a “holy heist.”
Kenneth Rhodes, 58, attended morning service. While at least one parishioner claims he was acting a bit strange, he attended the breakfast and service without incident. But it was later that bizarre behavior reportedly turned to damage and theft.
After church, Rhodes allegedly “tore through” the downstairs doors of the church. Rather than stealing computers, technology — even money — he purportedly took two Bibles from the sanctuary. Police, who were called due to reports of the break-in, apparently caught him as he was walking out of the building.
In an e-mail to The Blaze, Pastor Barbara Foltin of St. Paul’s, who claims that the church regularly hands out Bibles and that leaders would have willingly given the man the books had he asked, confirmed the incident:
A sister congregation, who shares our space, had just finished their worship and locked the doors. A few of them and their pastor were in the parking lot when the man broke the locked doors open. They were concerned that he was going to hurt himself or someone else and continue breaking things. They called the police. The man had gone to our sanctuary, but no further damage was done. He did have 2 bibles in his hands, which were left at the church.
Media accounts corroborate the incident as well.
“Yeah well, I was very surprised,” explained the church’s financial officer Donald Johnson. “I was also surprised because the man who broke into the church attended our Easter morning breakfast. He was acting a little strangely when he was at church.”
Damage to the church’s side door as a result of the incident will likely cost a few hundred dollars.
Below, watch a KMAX-TV report about the alleged crime:
(H/T: CBS Sacramento)