Thieves break into church convent; ransack home - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Thieves break into church convent; ransack home

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

A bold burglary leaves a Catholic church ransacked, six Catholic sisters shaken and suspects on the run.

Memphis police are searching for those responsible for breaking inside a church convent where six Dominican Sisters live and stealing their property.

"They're desecrating God's property that he provides for us to use," Father Johnnie Smith, who works at St. Paul Church, said.

It is a house in shambles, ransacked after a weekend burglary on the church property while the six sisters were not home.

"Devastating in a sense that the people at the house feel violated," said Father Smith. "It breaks my heart."

Father Smith says the burglars kicked in two doors and forced their way inside the convent. After making their way inside, the thieves took whatever they could, including TVs, DVRs, a laptop and an iPad.

Father Smith says the church is tightening security after the burglary.

"We're upgrading our security system and making sure all of the doors on the outside are sensitive to break-ins," said Fr. Smith. "This is very crazy because this has never happened before."

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