A small North Texas church has a special message for the thieves who stole around $40,000 worth of property: "We forgive you."
The sign outside the First Baptist Church of Slidell reads, "To those who robbed us, we forgive you."
According to the church's pastor, Bobby Cates, thieves took sound equipment from the church, two televisions, two computer monitors, a desktop computer and Cates' personal laptop -- filled with family photos -- as well as one of the church's vans.
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The van was found later, but the other items remain missing.
In a phone interview, Cates said the incident has helped him remember the lesson of forgiveness taught in scripture. That lesson led him to the church's marquee outside and the message he hopes both the congregation and the thieves will take to heart.
"I just grabbed the letters and put up the message," Cates said. "To those who robbed us, we forgive you."
Slidell -- a town of about 175 people -- is in an unincorporated portion of Wise County, and the church has turned to the Wise County Sheriff's Office for help finding the thieves. Cates said Tuesday that the investigation is still ongoing.