View Mobile Site
  • Home
  • Marketplace
  • Community
  • Gas Prices


Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Val Verde church burglarized

Intruders enter through back window, leave with instruments, speakers and cash offerings

Posted: September 23, 2009 10:46 p.m.
Updated: September 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Pastor Ismael Estrada, left, and Juan Ramirez show the window where New Life Apolistic Church of Jesus Christ in Val Verde was broken into Sunday night.

View More »
Pastor Ismael Estrada spent hours cleaning his ransacked Val Verde church Wednesday, wondering who smashed a window and stole instruments, speakers and cash offerings — and how his humble congregation is going to replace them.

The New Life Apolistic Church of Jesus Christ’s back window’s screen was torn and its glass was removed. Cupboards were emptied and envelopes, boxes and baskets were strewn across the floor in the sanctuary, kitchen and storage room. Among the missing items: two Fender electric guitars, one bass guitar and two speakers used in church services, along with money from an offering basket.

“I think they should be ashamed of themselves,” Estrada said of the burglars. “We’re there to help the people, not to hurt them ... They shouldn’t steal at all, but a church — it belongs to the man up there.”

The pastor said he received a call from a live-in church leader around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, telling him someone broke into the building and took equipment. The losses totaled an estimated $2,250.

Deputies are investigating the crime and will check the scene for fingerprints, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Brenda Cambra.

Estrada plans to use a guitar he owns and a church member’s bass guitar for worship in place of the stolen instruments until the church can afford new ones.

He is scheduling a Sunday meeting with congregants to discuss buying new equipment, he said.

“Right now, we don’t know how we’re going to do it,” said Estrada. “I know that the members will help.”

Estrada said the church, with about 45 congregants, has had other attacks of vandalism, including graffiti by local gang members on the side walls of the building. He also said the church’s outdoor lights have been smashed in about a dozen times. The neighbors usually do not have much to say about the vandalisms, he said.

“Here in Val Verde, if you question people, they don’t want to talk to you,” he said. “They’re afraid of the gangs.”
Estrada said the church will still be adding surveillance cameras for the outside of the building to help with safety.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...