Baptist church burglarized overnight in Miami

Pastor says church bus also vandalized at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church

MIAMI – Miami police are searching for the culprits who burglarized a Baptist church overnight in Miami.

The burglary was reported Tuesday morning at the Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church at 5129 NW 17th Ave.

"I was coming down to meet with my secretary, and while I was in route they said, 'Pastor, someone broke into the church and trashed it,'" the Rev. W. Edward Mitchell told Local 10 News.

Police said the crooks broke in through a bathroom window. Papers were found thrown around the church, items were knocked over and door were left smashed and broken.

The pastor said pricey electronics were stolen and a bus belonging to the church was also vandalized.

"The computers upstairs are gone, some microphone equipment," he said. "My office is trashed, I can't even account for everything yet."

Mitchell was left so shaken by the incident, that Miami Fire Rescue has to be called in to treat him.

"For the few seniors we do have, for the few years they have left, they ought to be able to have a church that's taken care of for over 40 years," Mitchell said. "To be at the end of life and to face this? And our young people who we are trying to steer away from violence, and then to have them experience that as we try to teach them to live a righteous life. If anyone in the community cares, we would appreciate any help they can give us to bring our church back to normalcy."

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.