The 3:00 AM phone call

On Tuesday night sometime between 10:30pm and 3:00am we got robbed. Yep, someone broke in a church and stole stuff. Our downtown gathering space that we call Spot on Blanding is where we are stationed during the week. The suite faces Blanding Street and is host to multiple scheduled and impromptu meet ups each week. It's also where our staff works. We completely renovated the space in February. Almost all of the work was done by people in our church. I remember yanking out old wire above the drop ceiling that was once used for an alarm system while thinking to myself that nobody would ever rob a church.

The thieves threw a brick through the lower pane of the front door. The marks on the exterior door frame witness to their inaccuracy and the strength of the double pane tempered glass. Once inside, they snatched a flat screen off the wall, gingerly moving a bookshelf below out of the way. They also grabbed a 60lb PA speaker, and a small 10inch monitor speaker. What's more alarming is the stuff they left behind. We had expensive audio and video equipment conveniently packed in cases and backpacks that they didn't touch.

Someone saw the broken window and called the cops. After two calls at 3:00am I mysteriously incorporated into my dream instead of answering, I finally picked up the phone on the third call and received the ominous news from Columbia PD that there was an "open door" at my "place of business". Now I know this is equivalent to breaking up with your boo while saying "it's not you, it's me" with a straight face.

On the drive in, I was expecting the worse. What I found instead was a little broken glass and a blank spot on the wall. They didn't touch our art, any of my books (yes, this was a concern), or the stuff we would need for worship on Sunday. The only victim was Teeny Tiny Amos, who ended up face down after falling from either fear or the bookshelf being moved. See his pathetic picture above. The two officers eventually called in another officer with a fingerprint kit. I was expecting CSI but all he had was a little black lunch box with some black powder and a makeup brush. I don't plan on making a career transition to thievery but I've watched enough McGyver and 21 Jump Street to wear gloves if I did.

The irony of it all is that the cops didn't know it was a church until I explained to them that I was the Pastor. When I asked them if the thieves would have proceeded had they also known it was a church, they emphatically responded, NO! I suppose there are some significant downsides to being culturally relevant.