Pastor sends message to crooks who targeted Catoosa church
CATOOSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- A church in Catoosa is now seeing an uptick in crime after being repeatedly targeted by criminals.
Two vans parked at the Disciple United Methodist Church have been hit multiple times by crooks, according to Pastor Andy Henson.
“In the morning, when no one is here, it’s a lot easier to steal and take and do some undercover than to ask for help,” said Henson.
The day care that operates at the church uses the vans. Henson says someone tried to take the steering column of one van last week.
“Even if it’s worn down, it’s old, it’s vitally important so they can do the mission that they’re called to for the rest of the community,” said Henson.
Someone siphoned gas out of one of the vans and punctured the gas tank.
“(Day care officials) will actually intentionally put less gas in the van because it’s happened on more than one occasion,” said Henson.
Catoosa police say property crimes typically go up this time of year, but they’ve seen less this year compared to last.
“(Property crimes) are hard to investigate, they’re hard to determine who the suspect is,” said Chief Kevin McKim, with the Catoosa Police Department.
McKim says people should report any type of crime to police.
“We need to know that because we can say, hey we’re starting to see a trend here. We can start doing things to reduce that,” said McKim.
Henson says he’s not concerned about the gas or the vans but the reason why they are getting targeted.
“I believe deep down people are searching for a lot more than gas out a vehicle and steering columns out of vans,” said Henson.
He says people can find what they’re looking for inside the church.
The church has gas cards and a food pantry for anyone who needs help and Henson says all they need do is ask.
Disciple United Methodist Church is at 1883 S. Cherokee St. in Catoosa.