Thieves Breaking into Cars in Midland Church Parking Lots

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- Recently, church-goers in Midland have been seeing a rise in car burglaries in church parking lots during Sunday morning services.

Patricia Chavez's sister had her Coach purse stolen out of her car a few weeks ago at the Church of Christ.

"I can't reiterate enough how upset we were about it and how violated we felt," Chavez said.

Inside the purse was $600 and she was about to hand over for her monthly rent. That same morning, at least two other car burglaries happened in the same area.

Patricia hoped it was only a one time deal, but this Sunday morning, thieves were at it again.

She says, "As we started walking towards the cars, everyone kept saying, 'Another window got smashed in.'"

Another car was targeted in the same parking lot. At about the same time, a truck was burglarized in the parking lot of First United Methodist Church.

Midland Police say residents need to wake up to the fact that Midland isn't the small town it used to be. Precautions must be taken, like taking valuables out of cars and then locking car doors.

Sergeant David Scardino with the Midland Police Department says, "I don't think you're safe anywhere from crime because criminals can go anywhere and target people. They're going to break a window and reach in and grab [items] and take off and it only takes seconds to do that."

Patricia says you can't assume you're immune from crime while at church. "You're in a good place. You're doing a good deed. Yet, there are still people out there that don't mind taking what isn't theirs."