Music equipment and other items were stolen from a Whittier church earlier this week, leaving parishioners to scramble ahead of Easter Sunday.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church was apparently burglarized on Wednesday and microphones, guitars and other equipment, as well as cash, gift cards and candy used for fundraisers were stolen, parishioners detailed in a GoFundMe page.
Several windows and doors were also left broken as a result.
“We are heartbroken, not only for ourselves but our neighborhood,” the GoFundMe page reads. “This equipment and donations benefit everyone and we can't believe it's all gone.”
Pastor Ashley Nicolls said she was left stunned about the burglary.
She told KTLA that a guitar members got in Peru that has sentimental value was among the stolen items. Crosses that children wear in church were also stolen, and Nicolls said one girl broke down in tears when she heard they were taken.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Nicolls said.
A neighbor said he saw several people running into a car and speeding away from the church.
After the break in, the church has received a lot of support. Donations are pouring in as well as musical equipment so the band can play on. In addition, the GoFundMe has raised more than $4,600 in one day.
Despite the damages and losses, members have a forgiving spirit toward the thieves.
“If you need something, come and talk to us. We are a congregation that gives,” Nicolls said.
Anyone with information about the break in is encouraged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.