April 06, 2020

Burglars strike second Pittsfield church

PITTSFIELD — For the second time in two weeks, thieves hit a Pittsfield church.

Last week, parishioners at St. Agnes Catholic Church recovered a statue of the infant Jesus that was taken during a Christmas Mass from the manger scene on the church’s lawn.

On Wednesday, police were investigating the burglary of the First Congregational Church on Park Street, just yards from the front door of the Police Department.

An exercise instructor discovered the theft about 6:30 a.m. when she opened the church’s meeting hall, which adjoins the church itself.

The police report lists the items taken as six pairs of sneakers, valued at $420; an L.L. Bean bag, valued at $30; and two telephones and an answering machine, valued at $200. Also taken were several dollar bills from a basket located near the pastor’s copy machine.

Pastor Andrew Gibson said Wednesday afternoon that the locking mechanism on an entrance door had frozen, and when the door appeared to have been locked it actually wasn’t. He surmised that burglars entered the building through that door. Once inside, they jimmied the locks on a storage area used by the exercise instructor and the door to the pastor’s office. They entered the church but did not take anything, said Gibson.

“They passed up a VCR and silver items,” said Gibson. “It almost appeared they were looking for some sort of cash box, but we don’t keep any cash here at the church.”

A building at the rear of the church, the home of Pennywise, a thrift shop, was not entered, said Gibson.

According to police, the burglary remains under investigation.

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