Church vans torched when thief tries to steal gas


BEAVERCREEK, Ore. (KOIN) — Mike Mutchler started the Grand View Baptist Church 35 years ago. Over the past 3 years he said there’s been “about 16 times” where people tried to steal gas from church vehicles.

Sunday night was one of those times.

Surveillance video shows a person “walking casually up with a drill in one hand and a gas can in another,” Mutchler told KOIN 6 News. He went under the van and then starts running away because a fire erupted.

Grand View Baptist Church surveillance of a man believed to have torched 3 vans in their parking lot while trying to steal gas, July 22, 2019

“You see him running away surprised,” Mutchler said. “He drops his drill near his car that he parked further on the property and the sheriff’s department has that.”

That van fire spread to 2 other vans in the church parking lot, destroying them. A fourth van was saved by fire crews who rushed to the church.

A gas thief sparked a blaze that torched 3 vans in the parking lot of the Grand View Baptist Church in Beavercreek, July 22, 2019 (KOIN)

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