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Local church, temple ransacked, help needed to feed the hungry

Posted at 11:33 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 07:03:15-04

Local families might go hungry after a church was burglarized Monday morning-and now the church needs your help. Their weekly food pantry is now at risk.

A nearby Buddhist temple was also hit.

As the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigated a stolen Jeep and burglarized Volkswagen near the Buddhist Temple in Greenacres, Jairo Torres emerged from some nearby bushes wearing gloves.

According to the police report, the 26 year-old was arrested because he left medicine with his name on it in one of the cars and there was the same brand of stolen microphones found in each car.

But Torres, allegedly, was far from done.

"I was feeling very disturbed because I couldn't see anybody disturbing and vandalizing God's house," Pastor Jerry Frye from the Greenacres First Baptist Church. It's across the street from the Buddhist Temple.

The path of destruction spanned six doors, a window, an office, as safes and computers thrown out on the street.

Pastor Jerry isn't sure how he's going to pay for the damages and continue to feed the 150 hungry people every week through their food pantry. The damage is around $1,200.

"We're open to all and we don't refuse anyone and we would really like to keep this thing going," he said.

Pastor Jerry forgives Torres.

He prays for him, "That he realizes how this could effect many other people and what he has done," Jerry says.

So what evidence put Torres inside the church?

"I left my cell phone here the night before," Jerry says.

At one point in the morning Torres, with handcuffs on was only connected to the two cars but deputies were still trying to figure out who broke into the church so they called the emergency contact which was Pastor Jerry. The phone that rang, was the one deputies had just taken out of Torres' pocket.

"I wanted to come back and pick it up but my wife didn't want me coming late at night. Something told me not to," Jerry says.

The sheriff's office says the temple was also ransacked, and had audio equipment stolen. Their equipment was found in the cars. The sheriff's office also says surveillance video shows Torres showing up in the stolen Jeep that morning. We reached out to the temple, but haven't heard back.

If you would like to help out the church, contact the Greenacres First Baptist Church.

Also, people can donate online at gofundme.com/fbcgreenacres or at fbcgreenacres.org.