2007-09-28 / Community

Police Detectives Eye Insider In Church Burglary

Many Had Keys To First Congregational Church House
By Howard Schwach

Police sources say they are looking for somebody who had the key to the church house attached to the First Congregational Church on Beach 94 Street after an overnight burglar took $4,000 worth of electrical equipment belonging to the Peninsula Performing Arts Conservatory on September 15.

"There was no forced entry into the building and there was no alarm, so the conjecture is that somebody had a key to the house," a police source told The Wave this week. "Unfortunately, lots of people had the key and we are presently eliminating suspects."

Michael Finnegan, the director for the local music organization, which uses the house at 320 Beach 94 Street as its headquarters and school, agreed with the police assessment.

"It had to be somebody with access to the building," Finnegan said, adding that he was lucky that "there was no cash in the building, no personal information," which could lead to later problems for members of the group.

Finnegan said that the theft of electronics, such as computers, wireless microphones and the organization's only telephone, put them back a bit in their first full week of operation for this school year.

He added, however, that nothing that was taken was critical and couldn't be replaced.

"We'll be up to speed by this week," Finnegan added. "This is not going to stop our kids."

Detectives from the 100 Precinct Detective Squad in Rockaway Park are investigating.

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