Computers stolen from Lady's Island church

LADY'S ISLAND -- It's easy to preach forgiveness, but practicing what you preach is a bit more difficult.

The staff at St. Peter's Catholic Church on Lady's Island faces that challenge after someone stole two computers and broke into a church-owned food pantry, according to authorities.

The computers were used to track the church's Sacred Heart House program, which feeds more than 800 needy families each month. The office, which is near the rear of Beaufort High School on Carolyn Drive, is believed to have been broken into over the weekend. Michael Beeler, director of community outreach for the church, said the computers were purchased with grant money and used to keep track of the pantry's patrons.

"It's a slap in the face," he said. "It's certainly not respectful of what we do for the community. I'm very, very disappointed in the actions of whomever did this."

Beeler said the pantry struggles to keep up with the needs of the county's less fortunate.

"We're only a church, so we can only afford to do so much," he said. "Right now, we can feed people once every 30 days, and those computers were what we used to keep track of who we were helping. I'm spending $1,000 a week on food, and even that's not enough to keep up with the needs in our community."

A Dell laptop and a desktop computer with a monitor, keyboard and mouse were stolen.

An investigation into the break-in is under way, said Maj. Matt Clancy, Beaufort Police Department spokesman.