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Church Burglary Update: Early Christmas Present - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Church Burglary Update: Early Christmas Present

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  We have new developments in a case we first told you about yesterday.

  Last weekend, numerous items were stolen from the Melo Lutheran Church, near Angus Minnesota. It's 30-miles northeast of Grand Forks.

  Authorities say they have 2 suspects in the case, who have not been named or charged yet.

   But now, it appears there's been a bit of a Christmas miracle.

  The Melo Lutheran Church has stood watch over the northern valley for 120-years now. Generations of families were baptized, married and buried here.

George Owens: "We were married there June 30 of 1961."

  Folks like George and Marie Owens, who were married here 51 years ago.

  News that someone stole from their church is a bit disconcerting to say the least.

George Owens, Angus, MN: "Yes, it definitely is. I can't believe people could do something like that."

  Religious pictures that were purchased in memory of congregation members are missing from the walls, along with numerous other items throughout the church.

  The Christmas tree that was stolen has been replaced, but the ornaments that decorated it, some of them decades old are gone.

Marie Owens, Angus, MN: "We made a lot of the decorations that were on the tree and put them on there every year and they're gone."

  But, lo and behold a bit of a Christmas miracle has occurred in the form of a Polk County Investigator.

Investigator Nate Rasch: "We did a search warrant last night and I believe we recovered all or most of the property that was reported stolen. And there are some other items I believe belonged to the Church. We're just waiting for the victims to come in and identify them."

  Investigator Rasch says the 2 suspects in the case should be charged and named within a couple of days, and the Melo Lutheran Church should be back, intact for another Christmas.

 Congregation members say the Church doors have never been locked and that several times the church has served as a shelter for those stuck in snow storms.

  George Owens says he does recall that quite a few years ago, someone took some wine. But, they left some change to help replace it.

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