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Church vandalized; break-ins increase

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Thieves who broke into the LDS meeting house in Delta over the weekend didn't get much for their efforts, but they left behind an expensive clean-up job.

The break-in at 1679 Pioneer Road occurred sometime the night of Saturday, May 6, or during the early morning hours of May 7.

Bishop Joel Butzin said entry was gained through a window on the east side of the building that is shielded by bushes. The thieves then forced open every locked door inside the church, apparently searching for money because they didn't touch electronics.

"All donations are deposited immediately," said church member Morgan Yost. "The church does not keep any valuables in the building. We also want to reassure members that no personal information was compromised."

Bishop Butzin said the only items missing are keys to the building, so the doors will be rekeyed after the interior doors and frames are repaired.

"They made a mess," the bishop said of the thieves. "It really made no sense -- the amount of work I'm guessing they went to."

Gauging from the extent of damage, Butzin said it's likely more than one individual was involved, and they were armed with a crowbar and perhaps a battering ram or sledgehammer.

The sanctuary was not touched, nor were computers, audiovisual equipment, TVs and monitors.

Church members hope others will learn from their mistake and trim shrubbery from potential entry points.

"We're not in a safe little community any more," Butzin said.

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