Church of the Valley in Apple Valley can’t seem to catch a break.
After years of experiencing arson, fire, and theft, congregants discovered that someone had stolen the church's rummage trailer on Sunday morning.
The theft of the trailer occurred at the church on 20700 Standing Rock Avenue and across the street from the Apple Valley Sheriff's Station.
The theft, which was reported to sheriff's officials, occurred the day after the church completed its quarterly rummage sale, church officials said.
“It was stolen from the rummage area of the church, which is the back of the church property, the back parking lot,” Pastor Joel Branter told the Daily Press. “It was emptied for the sale that we hosted this weekend. It was also emptied for our next donation pick-up date on June 20.”
All proceeds from the rummage sale go toward various charities and ministries that serve the local community, according to Branter.
At 4:18 a.m. on Sunday, church surveillance footage captured two men approaching the empty, locked 1997 Pace Cargo rummage trailer that was parked by the guard shed, church officials said.
The suspects undid the chain and backed what looked to be a white Dodge Durango up to the trailer.
The duo pulled out of the church campus with the trailer attached and turned east on Standing Rock.
Church officials are asking the public to look for the white trailer with a California license plate number of 1GG1918.
The trailer has black fenders, Yucaipa Trailer Sales on the back door, and a half-dollar-sized hole near the lock where someone recently pried the locking mechanism off.
“If you know how to check Craig's list or any other social media sale venue, please check for the trailer,” church officials said.
Theft, blaze, and arson
During last year’s rummage sale, church officials said someone stole an electronic bike from a church member who was volunteering at the event.
In January 2018, the Apple Valley Fire Protection District received a blaze report at the church, which destroyed a fenced storage area and caused extensive damage to an adjacent structure.
At the northeast end of the campus, both structures were used to store donated items that were to be sold during the church’s rummage sale.
The fire occurred just yards from several wooden sheds used to store sale items, said church volunteers Don Amador and Greg Hinkle.
In 2016, a 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of arson that destroyed four sheds and a travel trailer at the church. Property damage was $8,000, the AVFPD reported.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the Apple Valley Sheriff’s Station at 760-240-7400 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at 760-956-5001.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Thieves steal rummage trailer from Church of the Valley in Apple Valley