5th Oak Cliff church burglarized - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

5th Oak Cliff church burglarized

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DALLAS -

Five east Oak Cliff churches have been hit by thieves in the last month and a local business owner who has been trying to help churches protect themselves is also now a victim.

The doors at New Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church have bars on them so thieves went straight through a back wall to break in over the weekend. They got away with music equipment and stripped the copper from the AC in the attic.

"We were getting ready to celebrate our 38 year church anniversary and it's like, well you know, another attack by the devil," said Freddie Johnson, whose grandfather founded the church.

Ironically, the church's neighbor is Mr. Security. Owner Ricky Armstrong is a welder specializing in burglar bars. He estimates he's helped 40 nearby churches in the last three years.

But last month thieves stole Armstrong's work truck and $10,000 worth of equipment.

"Without this truck I can't work," he said. "You out here scuffling trying to make it, and somebody comes and steals everything you got to work with. Your back is against the wall."

It was a neighborhood church that helped him replace his truck and get his business going again.

Unfortunately desperate thieves are coming up with more creative ways to get in, leaving both the churches and Mr. Security feeling helpless.

The Dallas Police Department said it has added extra patrols and officers are trying to work with the churches on crime prevention tips.

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