Churches across Fort Collins prayed for thieves during Sunday morning services.
"Obviously, they are individuals that are desperate and need help and we pray that they will come forward and turn themselves in and take the right path," said Pastor Brian Bestian of St. Johns Lutheran Church.
Burglars have struck 12 churches in Fort Collins since September. In each case, food and money were stolen.
Parishioners believe desperation and tough economic times are to blame.
"It's tough out there right now," said Cathy Nestman. "It's sad, but we want to help."
All of the burglaries have taken place late in the evening or during the early-morning hours.
Most of them happened on a Sunday or Monday after Sunday offerings, which means more money was in the churches. Bestian said he believes the thieves had been inside his church before.
"They seemed to know the layout of the building because one of the first places they went to was our food pantry," said Bestian.
Six doors were kicked in inside the church, a window inside a door shattered, and a new vending machine was completely destroyed.
The church's office was ransacked, but the burglars appeared to only steal money.
"There were plenty of computers to take and there was plenty of money, and they took all the money, but didn't touch any of the computers, the TVs, VCRs -- never touched any of that stuff," said Eric Gardner.
The pastor and parishioners wish the thieves would have just asked for help.
"That is the thing that breaks my heart," said Bestian. "Had they come to us, we would have been more than happy to try and help them in some way."
Members said the thieves not only stole from them, but also from all the other people the church could have helped through this slow economic time.
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