OAK GROVE, Ore. (KOIN) — For the third time in 3 weeks, someone broke into the Good Roots Community Church in Oak Grove, but Pastor Lenny Bennett wants the thieves to know he and the congregation are there to help.
Bennett said extra security at Good Roots, 1908 SE Courtney Road, has become an unfortunate necessity after the break-ins, the most recent one happening between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The extra security — including bright yellow chains across the front doors — is not the kind of feel he wants for his church.
“You look in and it’s like, you know, is this Fort Knox? It doesn’t feel very welcoming,” he told KOIN 6 News.
Ironically, an inside door of the church was pried open with a screwdriver to a storage room that held clothes and toiletries the church gives out for free during their Saturday food bank.
“They also got into the sanctuary 2 other times and that’s when they really stole a lot of stuff,” he said, including $6000 in audio equipment.
As difficult as it has been this month, Pastor Bennett said it also highlighted the good in people.
“On Sunday morning I had a woman walk in, I have no idea who she is, just this sweet little grandma,” Bennett said. “She had $200 in cash that she had left over from a trip and she even had a 50-cent piece that she found on her walk that morning and she gave that to me.”
He also re-iterated the church is there to help anyone who needs help.
“It’s hurtful when this happens but also we want people to understand that if they are suffering at some other level we want to assist them in getting help, you know, in beating drugs and helping with their homelessness.”
That’s their biggest thing, he said: “Just ask for help.”
Bennett said Good Roots Community Church will be installing a security system that was donated.
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case.