Religious Items, Electronics Stolen From Coptic Orthodox Church in Anaheim

Church security cameras showed the burglar with a flashlight inside the church

An intruder stole thousands of dollars worth of religious items and electronics Wednesday from a church in Anaheim.

A man with a flashlight can be seen on security camera video walking around inside St. Gregory American Coptic Orthodox Church early Wednesday in the 1600 block of West La Palma Avenue. In addition to stealing a silver incense box and other items, the intruder damaged a church altar.

"We want him to come to his senses, and to come to repentance, and realize this is something that should never be done," said Father Moses Samaan. "

The church's alarm system triggered at about 6 a.m. Its security cameras showed the burglar wearing camouflage shorts, a mask, black shoes and socks. He appeared to be carrying a backpack.

Church member Sophia Soliman said the church is like a second home to many people. 

"To hear that your home has been treated in such a manner is very heartbreaking," said Soliman. "But for us and for our community as Coptic Egyptians, we are not a stranger to religious persecution or mistreatment."

No one else was in the building at the time.

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