Historical record books missing after Sonora church burglary

Local News

SONORA, Calif. (KTXL) — A Sonora church was broken into over the weekend and thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics were stolen.

The head pastor says what hurts the congregation the most are the things that can’t be replaced.

Randy Ehle, pastor at The Journey Church in Sonora, says sometime after his virtual Sunday morning sermon, a burglar or burglars broke into the church and helped themselves to a laptop, a digital camera and some sound equipment.

While the electronics are worth thousands of dollars, Ehle said they’re replaceable.

“We’re really grateful what they took has very little, relatively little, monetary value,” Ehle said.

But what’s not replaceable are the two historical record books that were kept in a now missing safe.

“I think the only way I can describe it is my heart sunk with that because of those historical records, because they can’t be replaced,” Ehle told FOX40.

The Journey Church in Sonora has deep ties to the community. William Sugg, a formerly enslaved person who bought his own freedom, helped build the church more than 160 years ago and his grandson helped build a second. 

“So there’s a history of the town even, that is now, I’m afraid, is probably on the side of a road somewhere,” Ehle said.

Now, Ehle said he is extra vigilant. He’s also full of hope that, with the help of the community, the books will make their way back home.

“The community can be part of God answering prayer, whether they believe in God or not, just by finding those books,” Ehle said.

Ehle added the burglars stole a set of keys but the church is in the process of changing the locks.

Anyone with information about this break-in or know where the missing record books are is asked to contact the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.

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