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Reward offered for information on church burglary

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Nearly $3,000 worth of items are stolen from a Johnson County church on Christmas! The theft happened at the Whitehouse Community Church.
Now the pastor is offering a $1,000 reward to help catch the thieves.

Pastor Richard Salyer was celebrating Christmas when a member called him and said someone had broken into the church building. He says the thieves damaged the back door to get in.
"Steel door, took several people," he said.

Salyer says the thieves took musical equipment and instruments used in Sunday school and worship service. Other missing items include vacuum cleaners and humidifiers.
Salyer says they took, "just about anything they could get their hands on in a hurry."

It adds up to nearly $3,000 worth of stuff which is too much for the small congregation of 30 members.
"We're going to have to take that out of the church treasury. I know there's people who put money in there when they couldn't afford to," said Salyer.

"I think it's a shame someone would do a rural church like that. They don't have a whole lot of money," said Sheriff Dwayne Price.

The Sheriff's Department is investigating, including Pastor Salyer who is a deputy. He is also taking it one step further and personally offering a one thousand dollar reward from his own money for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
"It comes to a point where really the only thing you can do is offer a big reward," said Salyer.

Salyer says he and the congregation will forgive whoever stole the items. They just want them returned.

He says the thieves did not have to break-in.

"They could have asked for help, and we would have helped them, instead of taking what we had," said Salyer.

Anyone with information on the break-in and theft at the Whitehouse Community Church should call the Johnson County Sheriff's Department at 606-789-3411.

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