ELYRIA — Two 10-year-old boys were caught Sunday with toys and other items stolen from a church, according to an Elyria police report.
Pastor Rick Young told police toys and cameras were taken, and two mugs of hot cocoa were made during an earlier break-in. He thought the thieves would return, so he parked down the street and waited inside the Liberty Baptist Church, 1017 Lake Ave.
Young said he heard a boy say, “Should we knock first?” Then another said, “No, just do it.” He saw a small hand come through the mail slot and reach up to unlock the front door’s deadbolt, according to the report.
When the two boys entered and saw the pastor, they both took off running. Young chased them but lost them near High Street. He said he knew the boys from the church’s Sunday school program, the report said.
Young and police spoke to the mother of one of the boys, and they found stolen items, including two high-definition video cameras, a webcam and a portable microphone, in the home in an upstairs room.
They also found a bag of toys and a stack of blank CDs.
Both boys accused the other of unlocking the door, and both said it was the other’s idea to break into the church in the first place, according to the report.
Both children were cited into juvenile court for breaking and entering.
Young said in an interview that he’s been pastor at the church for 35 years and hasn’t seen many break-ins.
He said the two children broke in Saturday, but church members noticed items missing Sunday.
Young said that unfortunately he’s noticed delinquents becoming younger.
“There’s a real need for mentoring in our society today,” he said.
Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at 329-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.