Estimated $14K in merchandise stolen from church fireworks stand

Manteca police are asking for help in finding the crooks who stole from Northgate Community Church's fireworks stand (July 3, 2017)

When Pastor Miles Larson went with his wife on a Sunday morning stroll, the last thing he thought he would see would be empty fireworks boxes marked with his church's name.

"It really just kind of makes me sad,” said Larson. “It reminds us that our role as the church is to go and be light to folks in dark places and this is just a reminder that we happen to live in a broken, dark place.”

Northgate Community Church members believe it was sometime on Saturday night, July 1, when thieves broke into a heavy, metal storage unit locked up behind the church.

The unidentified suspect or suspects were able to cut and twist the hasps holding the locks and break in.

Stored inside were boxes of fireworks meant to sell at the church's fireworks stand in front of their church on Main Street.

An estimated $14,000 in fireworks was taken.

Larson said someone was supposed to spend the night keeping an eye on the storage unit, but didn't show up. The church is now hoping to break even with the fireworks they have left to sell.

The money raised was set to be used to replace the flat portion of the church roof, which has water damage.

The estimated cost for the roof is $10,000.

"We're in the red after this theft. And so we don't know if any of it is going to be covered by insurance,” said church member Melissa Mullin, who is one of two members in charge of the fireworks stand. “We are a small church and we really can't afford that."

The church is taking donations to recover from their losses and have set up a GoFundMe account under Northgate Church Firework Donations.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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