Breaking News
More () »

Phoenix's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Phoenix, Arizona | 12NEWS.com

Surveillance video captures thieves stealing from Mesa church

The pastor says he doesn't want the robbers to get in trouble and would rather they just return what they stole.

MESA, Ariz. — A community church in Mesa was robbed early Monday morning, according to the pastor, and this is the second time in just over a few months that garden tools were taken there church.

EncounterAz Church near Mesa Drive and Mckellips Road has a farm in an adjacent field. And for the past three years, they have been growing a number of fresh fruits and vegetables from sweet potatoes to grapes, lemon trees and many more. 

They even have a dozen chickens that lay fresh eggs. This farm help’s their food pantry program which they give out food boxes every first and third Thursday of every month.

However, the church's surveillance video caught two individuals coming and going multiple times taking expensive gardening tools after they broke into the storage unit housing all the tools.

Pastor Brent Christiansen of EncounterAz believes an estimated worth over $1,000 of tools were taken. In this tough time of social distancing and church members attending from home, funds have been lower than previously.

Christensen wishes these two people would return the tools so they don’t have to take away money from the church's budget to replace the items.

Don Snyder who celebrated his 80th birthday the same day the tools were taken is one of a few members of the church who provide upkeep on the farm and loves to help grow food for others in need tells 12News, “That hurts, that really hurts I don’t know why anyone would want too. They could have things they could come and get them free, why steal? I don’t understand it.”

Christensen tells us he just wants everyone to know he doesn’t want to get these two people in trouble. He just would like the tools back. “I don’t really care that they get in trouble I would rather just get our tools back you know and just have them do the right thing so we can continue to provide for families.”

If you know these two people call Mesa PD or if you would like to help the church pay for the stolen tools you can go to https://encounteraz.com/give/ 

When giving you can select THE FARM tab and all of your funds would be used to help the farm program.