Daylight robbers walk in to church and take music equipment worth thousands

| July 29, 2010

THIEVES brazenly walked into an open church and stole music equipment worth thousands of pounds.

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church in Cross Street, Gainsborough, opens to its congregation every day.

But priest in charge Gabriel Offor, now says he will lock the small, red brick church following the crime that was carried out in broad daylight.

Reverend Offor, who is on loan to Nottingham Diocese from the Okigwe Diocese in Nigeria, told the Echo he was devastated at the crime and explained the events leading up to the discovery.

He said: "I was in the presbytery picking up some leaflets when someone knocked at the door.

"A lady had come to see me and told me she had a boy with her who needed confession. I said it was too early, but that I would see him.

"I went to find him in the church after my conversation with the lady, but he had gone.

"By the evening, at about 5.30pm I came to set up things for mass and I noticed that the synthesiser had disappeared. It had been there when we did morning mass.

"I called the financial secretary and we had a look around, but we couldn't find anything."

He later realised two wireless microphones were also missing.

"I am devastated this has happened," he said. "The church should be open for people, but because of this I am locking it up."

The synthesiser plays backing music for the congregation to sing along to, while the microphones are used by Rev Offor in mass.

As the Echo went to press, it was not known exactly how much the equipment is worth.

But it is hoped that Nottingham Diocese will be able to recover the items on insurance.

The Mayor of Gainsborough, Councillor Tim Davis, said it was a "diabolical" crime.

He said: "To do this to a church is absolutely diabolical and totally wrong. Churches are there to help."

The burglary was committed on Saturday, July 24, between 10am and 5.30pm. Anyone with information should call police on 0300 1110300, with log number 409 of July 24.

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Category: Church Security

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