Stained glass windows stolen from local church after Hurricane Michael

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MILLVILLE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As the community continues to recover from Hurricane Michael, looting has proved to be a challenge for some hoping to rebuild. One local church was no exception.

"Nature did this storm and knocked it down, and the thieves came in here and created another crisis," said Trinity United Methodist Church Pastor Jon Laughlin.

Laughlin said that he salvaged six of the church's 19 stained glass windows with the help of his son after the storm. Two were left to be removed later.

"We knew we could come back after Thanksgiving and take those down because they were the easiest. So, we came back and they were gone," said Laughlin.

Laughlin immediately reached out to the members of his church.

"We checked out to make sure none of our people borrowed them our took them and decided this was abandoned property and after that we knew they were gone we filed a police report," said Laughlin.

Laughlin said the stained glass windows were an important part of the church.

"A family or a family member paid for those windows, and every single one of them was a memorial to a loved one so that piece you'll never recover," he said.

Laughlin said the windows tell the story of the life of Jesus. He said they believed the two windows could of been repaired.

It will cost the church around $94,000 to replace them.

"Unfortunately we had no insurance for wind and hurricane damage. When we get to the point where we may rebuild, we're gonna try to find that money to get those windows back in this building," said Laughlin.

Laughlin also said they haven't been able to contact the family that donated the windows to tell them the windows were stolen because they've been displaced by the hurricane.