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Police Investigating Series of Burglaries in Mercedes Church

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MERCEDES – Thousands of dollars in equipment were stolen from a Mercedes church. The church is the third church to be burglarized in the area.

Noemi Sanchez is the proud pastor of Senda De Vida Church. She said each of her family members plays a key role in the church. 

"There is really no words to describe what it means to us. I think it’s, there is just no words. It's just life," Sanchez said.

Four years ago, she and her family purchased their own church. They are still remodeling the building. The floors, walls, and roof all had to be replaced.

Sanchez told CHANNEL 5 NEWS finding the money for the remodeling isn't easy. When times get hard, they remind each other of their dedication.

"One, we wanted to have something that is ours. Because that way once we get this paid off, we are able to do more for the community," Sanchez explained.

Sanchez said a neighbor called her when she noticed the church's door was wide open. She and her family arrived to find an empty building. A guitar, three flat-screen TVs, and speakers were missing among other valuable items. 

"We did a rough estimate and we're thinking between $4,000 and $4,500," Sanchez told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

She said the thieves even tried to take the building's central A/C unit. Sanchez said Senda De Vida is the third church in the area to be burglarized in the last year. The church has no security cameras.

Mercedes Police Chief Olga Maldonado said without cameras these churches need to rely on their members for added protection.

"You know have them drop by. You know maybe not actually have them go in the building but take a look around outside. Leave things so you know if you go by and it's not there, you know something is wrong," Maldonado explained.

Sanchez said her church will continue to spread God’s word.

"It feels like a dagger to my heart a little bit, but there is this Spanish song that says in trouble or tribulations the church keeps marching on, and that’s really what we are going to do,” she said.

Sanchez said her family plans on installing security cameras and stronger doors as soon as possible.

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