Break In at Collingwood

Toledo (13abc Action News) – A homeless woman is accused of breaking into a local church.
Tonight the community hopes the mentally ill woman gets some help.

Christine Palmer is the christian education director for Collingwood Presbyterian Church. She says a woman got inside the church over the weekend and stole electronics.

The suspect Santee Gardner didn’t get away. The church had some guardian angels watching the building. Some people in the neighborhood flagged down the police and gave up the suspect.

“They said they messed with the wrong church. They feed us and we don’t want to mess that up. The community didn’t want anything happening to our church because we do a community dinner for them the last Sunday of every month,” said Christine Palmer with Collingwood Presbyterian Church.

Collingwood Presbyterian Church has been a staple in the old west end community for 125 years. The Old West End is a tight knit community.

“It doesn’t really surprise me that they helped us out and looked out for us. I think that’s something that people need to know in Toledo is the Old West End is a great community to live in,” said Palmer.

“The Old West End association and the block watches that they have over here and all the historic houses people watch out,” said Toledoan James Hollis.

James Hollis says he heard about the break-in. He recalled seeing the suspect in the neighborhood that day.

“I think she has a mental issue and there may be some drug issue involved so that’s why she did what she did. Hopefully they will get her some help that’s what she needs,” said Hollis.

Police say Gardner admitted to stealing a television, coffee pot and microwave from the church. She is homeless and now faces a charge of breaking and entering to commit theft. In the meantime church leaders say they are looking at new safety procedures.

“They came through the front door somehow and we are looking into that to make sure that can’t happen again,” said Palmer.

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