Fort Worth

Small Fort Worth Church Suffers ‘Heartbreaking' Vandalism, Break-In

Fort Worth police located the suspect and recovered some of the stolen items

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A small church in southeast Fort Worth is grateful after police found the person -- and some of the property -- that went missing after a break-in Saturday morning. But the community is left with some cleaning up to do.

BibleWay Church of God in Christ serves around 50 people and its pastor said someone broke in, left a trail of destruction behind and carried off what he could.

“I didn’t feel real good, but I knew it was a test for me and the church,” Pastor James Walter said.

James Walter's son Phillip walked around the church where he grew up and wondered why someone would destroy a house of God.

“You can see from the damage, he destroyed all the mirrors in the church. We can tell, just by that, you don’t have peace,” said Phillip Walter, who is also a minister at the church.

The family said Fort Worth police located the suspect after they saw him pushing a shopping cart with items piled inside down the street.

“He admitted it and had our assistant pastor’s amplifier inside the grocery cart -- with the assistant pastor’s name on it -- as he was pushing it," Phillip Walter said. "We thank God for the Fort Worth PD was paying attention. We appreciate you."

Phillip Walter's wife Genice said the church was also broken into about 13 years ago.

“My father-in-law has been pastoring that church for 56 years. We’ve been in the community for over 50 years. It’s just heartbreaking that someone would come in and do that to our place of worship,” she said.

Phillip Walter said the church planned to reevaluate its security measures and install cameras to help prevent another break-in.

The family said they believe the suspect broke in through a window. 

The Fort Worth Police Department said the incident was still an active investigation and did not release the suspect’s name because he has not yet been charged.

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