It is not uncommon for Christians to feel that an attack on the church means a spiritual attack.
A criminal organization based out of Houston, Texas, decided to attack the church in a different way: financially.
Fayette County’s Sheriff’s office in Georgia has announced the arrest of three members of a bigger crime group that has over 17 members. According to Sheriff Barry Babb, churches in Fayette County alone had $154,000 stolen from their mailboxes and drop-box locations.
Investigators that have been monitoring the crime spree since the COVID lockdowns have revealed that $1.5 million has been taken from many tithing drop-boxes across 14 states.
The thieves would open fake bank accounts and then deposit the checks through ATMs.
Sheriff Babb made this known during an interview with Fox 5 Atlanta. He said: “Probably some of these churches might not have even been open during that time and these checks were piling up. So, they knew that when they hit a mailbox, which most of these cases these mailboxes were not secure mailboxes, they were able to take the mail.”
Authorities have witnessed an increase in this style of stealing with many elderly congregants unable to drop their tithes or offerings in person, they resort to sending their checks through mail.
Sheriff Babb urged churches and other religious organizations to encourage their congregations to move toward online giving as it is safer than mailing in tithes.
Earlier this year, Huntsville’s Willowbrook Baptist Church in Alabama, encountered the same problem of having their mailbox raided by thieves.
Pastor Mark McClelland talked about the matter to WBRC 6. He said: “They are not just robbing from the church, they are robbing from God. Our prayer is that the thieves not only get caught, but they get captured by Christ and they trust Him.”
According to U.S. Postal Inspector Tony Robinson, the perpetrators could face up to five years in federal prison I caught.
He said: “Additional charges can be levied against the criminals based on what they do with the mail. They can steal the mail and never do anything with it but still be charged and sentenced to jail time.”
This increase in mailbox crime has made many churches put locks over their mailbox, or install a letter-sized slot that allows mail to be delivered to the church directly.