$7,000 Worth of Fireworks Stolen from Manteca Church

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MANTECA -- Thousands of dollars worth of fireworks were stolen from a church Saturday night in Manteca.

The Northgate Community Church said sometime after they closed up 10 p.m. a thief or thieves got into their metal storage container and took around $7,000 in fireworks.

Packages of fireworks being sold for $600 were gone in the morning and the cheaper fireworks were left untouched. The church also said a moving dolly was stolen, which they claim may have been used to move boxes of fireworks presumably into a vehicle. The empty boxes were found down the street.

The church said in the past they have raised $10,000 in fireworks sales. The money this year was specifically meant to repair holes in the church's roof, which has been leaking for a year and a half. The quote to get it fixed was exactly $10,000.

"Now we are hoping just to break even," said church volunteer Melissa Mullin. "At the moment we're $5,000 in the hole."

Fireworks booths in Manteca, like all other booths meant for nonprofits, must enter a lottery with the city, where only 14 booths are allowed to operate.

The last time Northgate Community Church sold fireworks was in 2015. They made their sales in a parking lot off of Main Street, but decided this year to sell in front of the church because the cost to rent part of the parking lot was over $5,000.

The Manteca Police Department is investigating the incident.