Burglars Break Into Church, Steal Laptops With Sensitive Information

(CBS) — Parishioners at a Lutheran church in Hegewisch feel violated after crooks burglarized their church.

But it’s the stolen laptops from inside that worry them the most, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

Whoever broke into Lebanon Lutheran Thursday night ransacked almost every room, taking everything from communion chalices in the sanctuary to everyday kitchen appliances, like a microwave oven.

Chicago police say the thieves broke a window to enter and then proceeded to break locked cabinets and doors.

The estimated financial loss is $15,000. But the emotional loss is much more.

Bonnie  Korbelik’s grandfather was a founding member.

“Some older members came by when they found out about it, and they were just devastated,” she says.

They did it and more, also stealing two church laptop computers.

The missing laptops belonged to an energy assistance program called CEDA, which rented space from the church. They contain personal information of 6,000 people, says Patricia Wojcikowski, CEDA’s executive director.

She says the computer is password-protected. The hope is that thieves will not be able to break the code. The organization will contact anyone who could be affected, Wojcikowski said.

The church has set up a GoFundMe page online in an attempt to recoup some of its losses.

 

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