Catonsville Baptist Church burglarized, ransacked

Baltimore County Police are investigating a break-in and burglary at Catonsville Baptist Church on Frederick Road that is believed to have occurred between 11 p.m. Oct. 7 and 6:30 a.m. Oct. 8.

The burglars stole a laptop and a TV from the church's sound room, food and drink from the outreach ministry, Manna From Heaven, and more than half the keys in the church office, according to Winnie Schwartzbeck, the church's administrative assistant.

"I'm always here at 6:30 [a.m.] and I've never been afraid. This is a church," she said.

On Tuesday morning, however, she said a wave of fear swept over her when she arrived at the church in the 1000 block of Frederick Road and realized what had happened.

"You know how they show in movies where they ransack a house and then walk on it?" she said. "Imagine that in an office."

The office furniture had been flipped over and secure file drawers pried open, police spokeswoman Louise Rogers-Feher said.

Additionally, multiple interior doors and door frames were damaged "beyond repair," according to Rogers-Feher.

Police had no suspects as of Thursday afternoon.

Schwartzbeck said she hopes the thieves are found and receive a just punishment.

"I tried to figure out why somebody would do what they did," she said. "If they were hungry, I could see [stealing] the money and the food. But the destruction? It's more than that.

"I just pray that God can forgive them and maybe we can find them and they find out what they did is wrong," Schwartzbeck said.

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