• Orange County church pleads with burglars to return stolen property

    By: Johny Fernandez


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The pastor of an Orange County church hit twice by burglars in less than a month is pleading with whoever is responsible to return the stolen property.

    The first burglary happened on Nov. 5 at The Congregation of Yahweh on Cypress Street, when a shed was broken into and equipment the church uses to serve food to the community was taken.

    The second burglary happened about two weeks later. That time the burglars broke into the church and stole $15,000 worth of electronic equipment and a broken trailer, the Rev. Anibal Diaz said.

    “They came back, and this time they were more prepared, because they took everything,” he said. “We fixed the door and we actually reinforced it from the inside so (it) couldn’t be opened, but a sledgehammer will do a real job on wood.”

    Diaz’s church isn’t the only target for burglars in the area – the Orange County Sheriff’s Office reports that 15 other burglaries were reported in November.

    Diaz has been leading the church for about a year, and said the recent burglaries are the only issues the congregation has had.

    His request for whoever was involved in the thefts was simple.

    “I would say to that person, return whatever’s possible for you to return,” Diaz said. “Come to us. We are servants of the Almighty and (are) willing to forgive.”

    The Sheriff’s Office said an investigation into the burglaries is ongoing.

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