Burglars steal copper pipes, instruments from church

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You can steal their stuff, but you cannot rob them of their faith. Thieves hit a Harrisburg church, taking copper pipes and musical equipment.

Banks Memorial Church has been in Harrisburg for more than 50 years. It is a small congregation of 50, and is led by a 95-year-old pastor who is going on 96.

Despite its humble makings, burglars decided to steal from the house of giving.

“You would think that they would feel really strange doing that because it is such a small church,” said Geraldine Crystal, associate pastor. “We're here to give, as you said, and to really be a help in the community.”

“I mean if you need help, just come into the church and ask for help,” said Jeret Spears, the organist.

Police said the burglars got away with copper pipes, a guitar, a drum set and sound equipment, without asking. Police said it happened sometime after Sunday school and before a Monday prayer meeting.

Pastors said it was like déjà vu because instruments were stolen a few years ago.

“After the last time, we installed the security system,” said Crystal.

But the burglars cut the wires and broke in through a back window. They did not get away with everything though. The tambourines and the organ were left behind.

“I'm gonna get on the organ and we're gonna clap our hands and play the tambourine and do whatever we have to do to keep on going,” said Spears.

A congregation keeping the faith and the music, even in times of trouble.

“You have invaded of the church of a 96-year-old pastor, and I think that should go to your heart,” said Crystal.

“We're praying for you,” said Spears.

Parishioners said the burglars will have to answer to God and the police.

Anyone with information on this crime should contact Harrisburg police at (717) 255-3131.

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