DOVER, Idaho — Members of a church outside of Sandpoint are searching for answers after burglars stole an estimated $15,000 worth of items, including crosses, computers, and donated goods for the homeless.
Churchgoers at Holy Spirit Episcopal, in Dover, discovered the items missing last Sunday morning when they arrived for services. Church members said that a suspect was able to compromise a lock on the main entrance doors to Holy Spirit.
"How could someone violate a church in that manner? And especially a church in Sandpoint?" said Geoffrey Cant, a Holy Spirit member. "Churches should not be subject to that."
Sacramental items that were taken included a tabernacle, chalices, candelabras, and two crosses, among other items. The crosses had a combined value of approximately $5,000, according to estimates by church members.
In a separate section of Holy Spirit, members said that the suspect went into the vicar's office and stole two desktop computers and a new vacuum. Outside the office, the church had been collecting clothes and other items for a local homeless charity, which were also stolen.
"These things obviously shouldn't happen anywhere, but we think ought not to happen in a church here," said Cant.
He added that if the perpetrators were simply looking for help, they should have just asked.
"We're happy to assist those in need. But not this way."
Holy Spirit doesn't have any security cameras, so church members said there weren't any clear leads as to who was responsible. Security improvements have been discussed and a locksmith has since been hired to fortify the front doors.
"These things obviously shouldn't happen anywhere, but we think ought not to happen in a church here," Cant said.
For now, Cant and other members said they're hopeful that someone in the community might recognize the stolen items. In the meantime, the church plans to continue with regular services such as they did Sunday morning after learning of the burglary.
"We had a proper worship service. And proclaimed our faith ," said Cant.