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Asbury benefit money stolen

By Staff | Jul 23, 2010

A break-in occurred at the Asbury United Methodist Church in Shepherdstown around midnight Wednesday, July 14.

Church trustee Monroe Burger said he received a phone call from ADT around 12:10 a.m. informing him an alarm was going off at the church.

“The police were at the church when I got there,” Burger said. “That didn’t leave a lot of time between when the alarm went off and when the police got there.”

When he arrived, a side door going into the sanctuary was open, and the sanctuary lights were turned on, Burger said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department responded to the alarm.

Everything seemed fine at Asbury United Methodist Church until later Wednesday morning when the discovery of a broken window was made.

At the back of the church’s sanctuary is a sound room that is separated by the main sanctuary by a partition. The sound room’s window was broken.

“We didn’t find out until today,” said the Rev. Rudy Bropleh. “No one noticed anything at first, but today we noticed the sound room window had been smashed and that there was a hatchet on the floor.”

The only thing missing from the sound room was a jug used to collect money for one of the church’s charity programs, Coins for Christ, Burger said.

“It looked like whoever broke in had looked for more, but I think the alarm might have scared them off,” he said.

The jug that was taken was kept in the sound room, which is locked when the church is closed, and the jug would usually be emptied every week or so, Burger said.

“It’s unfortunate because that’s not the right way to do things,” Bropleh said. “Asbury may not be a very wealthy church, but we are a very generous church. Come during the daytime, and we’ll be more than glad to help you with the resources we have. This hurts our ability to help people.”

While he was unsure exactly how much money was in the jug, there might have been between $100 and $150 stolen, Burger said.

In the six years he’s been at Asbury United Methodist Church, Bropleh said this was the first break-in or robbery he’s seen.

“Shepherdstown is a safe place, but times are changing,” he said. “As community members we all need to be a little more alert. It’s not like it was 50 years ago.”