Thief Steals Entire Church All by Himself


A thief stole a church from Peoria, Arizona early Tuesday morning all by himself.

As the church service is held at a local elementary school, the entire church is stored in a trailer during the week.

“We have all of our church equipment for worship in a 7×16 trailer that we haul each Sunday,” Cross of Glory Lutheran Church & School wrote on Facebook. “It’s our church in a box.”

The Facebook post also included the license plate number and details so the trailer can be easily identified and reported to police.

Obama-Appointed Judge Holds Former Fox News Reporter Catherine Herridge in Contempt for Refusing to Reveal Her Sources

“The trailer is white with damage at the back left side. Please share and let’s get the social media eyes going.”

The surveillance videos show a white pickup first scouting the church property around 3 a.m., and then returning a few hours later and, within minutes, driving away with the trailer.

“You feel violated,” Pastor John Ehlers told ABC News.

The thieves only left the wheel stoppers from the trailer behind.

Do you think the thief will return the trailer?

“It’s hard to function without it because, when you’re worshipping in a school — in a gymnasium, you have to bring everything in,” Ehlers said.

A Church in a Box is an easy way to have a church without actually having a building because everything is portable.

“Maybe if they open it up and actually read the Bible that’s in there, they’ll get to know a little bit about their savior,” Ehlers told ABC News.

Cross of Glory Lutheran Church & School hosts their second site at Lake Pleasant Elementary School, and their trailer had everything they needed for their service from audio equipment to a baptismal font.

Ehlers estimated the stolen trailer had about $40,000 worth of equipment.

'Level 3 Threat' Causes United Flight to Be Diverted, Make Emergency Landing

A service will still be held at the school whether or not they get their trailer back.

“They can’t take God’s word from you,” Ehlers said.

The pastor passed along a message for the thieves: “You’re welcome to bring it back any time you’d like, no questions asked. Bring it back and, hey, Jesus does forgive you for those sins too.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , ,
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith