See the video: Failed burglary begins with church van theft
FORT MITCHELL, AL (WTVM) -
They stole a van from a Phenix City church and attempted to ram it through the front of The Drop Zone convenience store in Fort Mitchell, but things didn't go according to plan.
As the surveillance video from inside the store shows, they did everything wrong.
First the driver failed to get a running start and couldn't break the doors open because he was too close.
After several more attempts, his partner walked behind the van to try the doors by hand and in the process, was nearly run over.
They finally got the doors open, and with total access to the store, they decided to drive the van through one more time.
They caused so much damage on their last hit- the ceiling fell through and the entrance became blocked. The attempted burglary was a failure and the suspects were forced to leave.
The plan was doomed from the start, because if they did get inside, they would have probably been caught in the act by the store manager who arrived minutes later to open up the store. The hours were written right on the front door.
Teresa Johnson of New Beginnings Christian Ministries didn't know that her church van was missing until police called her Sunday afternoon to say they found it abandoned and seriously damaged.
"Due to the fact that we are a ministry, you would think that this would be the last thing they would take from. Not only did they rob God, they took from children who we are trying to minister to and make sure they get the proper education that they need," said Johnson, "We just pray that they get caught in the crime that they are committing, because if they tried it once, they'll do it again."
Johnson has advice for the suspects, who are still on the loose tonight.
"Go get a job. That's probably what they really need to do. Go get a job and stop taking things that don't belong to them."
The staff at New Beginnings Christian Ministries are using personal vehicles to transport the children to daycare until the van is repaired. Johnson has not yet heard if insurance will pay for the damages. In addition to driving it through a building, the suspects tore all the seats out of the van to make room for the things they failed to take.
If you know who they are, you should contact the Russell County Sheriff.
New Beginnings is accepting donations from anyone who wants to help them during this difficult time.