Checks, money stolen from small community church in Randolph County

RAVENDEN SPRINGS, AR (KAIT) - Hundreds of dollars were stolen from a small community church in Randolph County earlier this week. Checks and deposits from parishioners that was supposed to go towards others this holiday season.

"We've dealt with grief, we've dealt with a lot of other problems this year so this is just the icing on the cake in 2012," Hamil Community Church Pastor, Hampton Owens told Region 8 News regarding the theft. "Just the audacity of someone to steal from a just blows my mind."
Owens said he was alerted to the theft by his church treasurer on Monday.
"Said that someone had stolen our church checkbook and about two weeks worth of deposits out of her purse," Owens explained. 
"We've contacted them, they're gonna stop payments on their checks, we've already stopped payments. They didn't try to use any of our checks on us so we didn't lose any money," Owens said. The checks and deposits totaled around $400. 
Owens said that money was going to go towards helping others this Christmas through the purchase of gifts, clothing and food. 
"We help our community, that's our call." But now, they're looking to others to help them make sure those families will still be taken care of.
"We've partnered with other churches that are gonna help them...folks aren't going to go without," Owens said.
He said now, he wants whoever stole their holiday cheer to know one thing.
"We know they did it...but they need to make it right with the big man upstairs," Owens said. "We're alright with it but, they need to make it right. It's nothing we can do now, we've turned it over to God and we've forgiven them but it's up to them to do the right thing."
He's hoping they'll do the right thing by returning what doesn't belong to them.
"Even if you didn't know it was a church checkbook, you still stole someone's checkbook and you still stole someone's money at Christmastime when people really need it."
Because, he said, if people really did need the money, all they had to do was ask.
"We're a church. All you had to do was pick up the phone and call us and we would've taken care of it."
Owens did file a report with the Randolph County Sheriff's Department. If you have any information on the theft, contact them at (870) 892-8888.
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