Thieves steal trailer with $50K in equipment from local church lot
Pastor Trent Redmann usually takes Mondays off. But March 16 was no ordinary Monday.
Redmann, who leads a Valley Creek Church congregation of more than 250 through two services every Sunday, has spent much of the early part of the week talking with police and insurance agents after it was discovered that a trailer the church uses to store nearly $50,000 of electronic equipment was stolen.
St. Paul police recovered the trailer Sunday morning in St. Paul just east of Highway 61, but it was missing nearly all of the electronic equipment and other items the church uses for its services, Redmann said.
"It's been a crazy couple of days," said Redmann. "But we're getting through it together."
Woodbury Police are also investigating the incident, but have no real leads as of Monday, Woodbury Public Safety officials said.
Valley Creek Church, which was founded by Redmann and his wife Melinda in Woodbury in 2001, currently rents space at the Central Park amphitheater on Sundays to hold its services.
During services the church uses an extensive amount of audio and visual electronic equipment to amplify its message to members.
"We're talking speakers, video equipment, amps, mixers, stuff that we've purchased over the years to help with our services," Redmann said.
All of that "stuff" was stored in a 24-foot trailer the church has parked for the last several years at Five Oaks Community Church in southern Woodbury along Radio Drive.
Redmann said Five Oaks officials told him their staff last saw the trailer parked in the parking lot Saturday night.
Valley Creek parishioners who pick up the trailer every Sunday morning called police when they saw the trailer was missing.
Redmann said St. Paul police contacted him around 8 a.m. Sunday to tell him they found the trailer, about five miles away in St. Paul.
"They brought us over there and the only things left were (four of 15) storage boxes (that contain) children's toys and some tables," Redmann said.
Redmann rushed back to Central Park in time to conduct the 9:30 a.m. service, with some obvious improvisations.
"It takes time to put together all the equipment that we've used over the years, so it was definitely disheartening," Redmann said. "But the positive thing we're taking out of this is that our church isn't about equipment or buildings. It's about our people."
Redmann said his the congregation was made aware of the situation and has maintained a prayerful attitude throughout the ordeal.
"We walked them through the whole situation and the one of our members said to me 'You know, I've been praying for the people that stole this stuff that whatever is going on in their life that made them feel like they needed to do what they did, that they could just realize God loves them,'" Redmann said. "That's the attitude we're taking from this situation."
Redmann said the church is in the process of working with its insurance company to identify all the stolen items. He believe they will find a way to replace the items.
Valley Creek Church also plans to store its trailer on the property of one of their congregation members who lives in rural Afton.
'Five Oaks (Community Church) has been such great friends to us in allowing a place to keep our trailer, but we figured we need to move it to a place where the folks that took it won't know where it is," Redmann said.
About Valley Creek Church
Valley Creek Church was founded by Woodbury residents Trent and Melinda Redmann in 2001. The church first held its Sunday services at Woodbury Theater. In 2004 it moved services to Central Park. Redmann said the church in considering expanding to a larger location this summer.
Church members are from Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Afton, Hudson and other east metro communities. For more information go to: http://www.valleycreekchurch.com/