Nothing, not even a house of prayer, is exempt from the pervasive crime in the city of Detroit.
Michael Beasley, the 55-year-old pastor of Total Life Change Ministries on the city’s west side can attest to that. His church, located inside a defunct elementary school near Greenfield and Tireman, has been a target of far too many break-ins, reports John Carlisle of the Detroit Free Press:
Over the course of three years and 20 break-ins, scrappers have taken thousands of dollars worth of copper pipes from the boiler room, and copper wires from the maintenance tunnels that circle the school’s perimeter, and the copper in the now-smashed porcelain restroom sinks — and even an electric meter outside.
Each time, church members tried to figure out how the thieves got in and sought ways to keep them out. They put boards on the outside of the windows and screwed the window frames shut on the inside, and they looped chains through holes they drilled through steel doors, and they further secured some doors with braces, boards and extra locks.
And after all that work, the former prison guard now finds himself inside a prison of his own making, a fortress against the neighborhood he came to help.