Suspected burglars raided two Bulawayo churches in a space of two days, getting away with Public Address System speakers and decorating materials with the police noting a surge in church burglaries in the city.
The burglars are said to have raided Revival Crusade Church situated in Mpopoma suburb and Light House Ministries in the City Centre on Monday and Tuesday respectively.
In both churches, the yet to be identified thieves got away with PA speakers.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed both incidents.
“Criminals are now targeting churches in the city. Just this week, we received two break-in reports in two churches. In both incidents the criminals stole PA system speakers.
“At Light House Ministries the thieves even got away with 30 metres of decoration cloth,” she said.
Insp Simango said the value of the stolen items could not be immediately ascertained.
She said the criminals could have raided the churches in anticipation of getting money.
“I’ve just mentioned these two cases but we have been recording an increase in the number of cases where unknown criminals are raiding churches. We believe these criminals were searching for money,” said Insp Simango.
“We are aware that some churches announce the amount they get from congregates to promote accountability. However, church leaders should also remember that people come to church for various reasons. There could be criminals attending church just to get information on its activities. So we encourage churches not to keep money in their church buildings.”
She appealed to members of the public who might have information that may lead to the arrest of the criminals to report at any police station.
The provincial police spokesperson’s warning comes a few months after burglars raided Revelation Church of God premises in Kelvin North and got away with US$9 000, R31 106 and $69 000 in bond notes.
The money was stolen a night after the church had held a fundraising service.