A church that serves hundreds of kids in northeast Oklahoma City was the target of crime. Someone broke into the Avery Chapel AME Church near northeast 13th and Kelham Ave. and stole supplies from an after-school program.
More than 100 area kids come here for a daily after-school program.
“They eat dinner,” said Stephanie Crawford, church pastor’s wife. “We give them a snack and we offer homework assistance and tutoring.”
But the church no longer has the supplies they need to help the kids.
“A lot of the supplies that we house for them is in my office,” said Crawford. “So they took all of that and the printer we use so the kids can do their homework.”
The night of the break-in, police responded twice to the church after the alarm was set off but they never caught the suspect. However, a surveillance camera caught him breaking into the church. The video is grainy, but you can see the suspect climbs on a trash can to reach a window on the second floor. He struggles for a while to pull an air conditioner out of the window. Once the AC unit is out, he crawls inside the office and spends nearly three hours inside the building.
“We were just flabbergasted when we saw someone breaking into the office,” said Crawford. “To just take items that you know we actually need for our program.”
She estimates the burglar took about $2,000 worth of equipment and supplies.
“A lot of the kids in this area don’t have the necessities that they need for school,” said Crawford. “Glue sticks, paper, calculators. Stuff like that, we weren’t able to give to them to use cause we don’t have it anymore.”
Crawford wonders why someone would steal from a church, one that helps so many in the community.
“When you try to help,” said Crawford. “And then people take from you, it just kind of breaks your spirit.”
The burglar also broke out a window in another part of the church but it does not appear he took anything from that room.