Surveillance video shows one of six Tyler church break-ins

Published: Aug. 30, 2016 at 11:21 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2016 at 12:54 AM CDT
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Church Break Ins (Source: First Christian Church)
Church Break Ins (Source: First Christian Church)
Church Break Ins (Source: Saints Peter and Paul Church)
Church Break Ins (Source: Saints Peter and Paul Church)
Church Break Ins (Source: First Christian Church)
Church Break Ins (Source: First Christian Church)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tyler police said there have been six church burglaries in the just the last couple of weeks.

The Tyler Tabernacle, Saints Peter and Paul Chapel and First Christian Church, are just three of the churches involved.

The Tyler Tabernacle was broken into on either August the 22nd or 23rd, but the other two were both hit early Sunday morning.

Church leaders showed us surveillance video and damage they hope will stop in their places of worship.

"He took a safe out and left through the nearest exit door," said Ginger Brandt with the First Christian Church.

Huddled around a computer screen at First Christian Church in Tyler, we watched the events that they say led up to this alleged safe bandit. 

When we first saw the video the man was walking just outside the church's Christian Life Center, but that's when he looked up and saw himself on camera.

The video shows him slowly stop, and awkwardly back out of the frame. Shortly after, someone is seen rolling the safe through a children's daycare area.

"We came in Sunday morning, to millions of shards of glass and then reviewing videotape showed us that this is the 'in' to our building. You can see that the glass is broken and everything inside somewhat disturbed," said Brandt.

They weren't the only ones. Down the road at Saints Peter and Paul Chapel someone also broke a window to get inside.

"Then that's when we found that the candle money had been broken into. Everything was just sort of opened up and left as it was," said Kathy Mccabe a member at Saints Peter and Paul Chapel.

At the Tyler Tabernacle, associate pastor Sammy Draper says their doors were just bashed open.

"They busted this door in here and tore it up as well," said Draper.

For church leaders like Father Hank Lanik with Saints Peter and Paul Chapel, this isn't about what was taken.

"Both of our churches we have open from after our early service every day for people to pray and be with God, so when something like this happens it is kind of almost a violation of trust it feels like at first," said Lanik.

"And to start thinking about you have to close parts off, put in extra security that's not what churches are meant to do," said Draper.

Police say at this time they aren't sure if there is one or multiple suspects involved in these church burglaries. They say all of that is still under investigation.

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