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Unidentified culprits broke one of the Ten Commandments when they forced their way into a church this past week, taking advantage of the blackout caused by the Feb. 12 storm to steal a safe and even take the night’s offering money.

The First Church of Jesus Christ on East Lincoln fell prey to the nocturnal burglar or burglars, the invasion of the Lord’s house discovered the following morning once power was restored following the Wednesday thunderstorm that wreaked havoc on the city.

The church clerk told police that the church was fine when he left the night before around 8 p.m.

“He had left the previous night’s offering (Feb. 12) on the office desk due to the power being out and his inability to see without light,” the police report revealed, noting the clerk returned the following morning at 10 a.m. to find that the air conditioning unit had been pushed in, to clear the path for the burglar. Footprints were found on the wall, indicating where the intruder made entry.

It was then noticed that a safe was missing from the office. The safe reportedly contained $75. The offering, which the clerk had left on the desk the night before was also gone. The offering proceeds were $25. Along with the offering money, $55 more in cash was missing from the office drawer.

Police believe the burglar realized the safe could not fit out the window, therefore the culprit used a pair of scissors to unscrew the screws from the office door so the container could be carried through the church and out the door. The back door was found unlocked when the crime was discovered suggesting that is where the burglar made egress from the crime scene.

Lawmen are asking the public for any information on the identity of the burglar or burglars. They are also looking into a glass door being broken at another church on Lincoln. However, nothing was taken during that incident. That damage was discovered on Feb. 14 but it was noted that the church door had last been seen intact Feb. 12. It is not known if the two incidents are related.

Duane Sherrill may be reached at dsherrill@tullahomanews.com.

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