Thieves target small northwest Atlanta church

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A small church on Atlanta's West Side was hit with heartbreak Sunday morning before church, when members discovered thieves broke into the sanctuary and ransacked their valuable equipment.

From microphones, a keyboard, speakers, backup equipment and even their heater, Atlanta Police said unknown thieves took off with a number of items from New Life In Christ Church off Johnson Road NW.

The lost items total more than $5,000.

"You feel sad... anytime you work so hard and someone takes something from you," said First Lady Sheila Owens, who made the discovery right before the start of Sunday School. "You're not looking for anybody to break in your church," she said.

It will take some time for the small congregation to replace the items. The church has been in the community for sixty years.

"With our faith in God, this too will pass," said Deacon Johnny Clowers, who said he and others are praying for the people responsible, and for a miracle that the equipment will be replaced and possibly returned.

Police said they are still searching for the people responsible. Tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.

Anyone who wishes to help the church can contact New Life in Christ Church on 60 Johnson Road NW at 404-794-0450, email, or write P.O. Box 50626, Atlanta, Georgia, 30302.