Thieves steal a tractor and lawn mowers from a church

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Thieves have stolen thousands of dollars worth of equipment from a Twin Cities area church.

Family of God Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Park posted to Facebook earlier this week that someone stole three machines from them.

The church says they're missing a John Deere riding mower with a snowblower attachment, a Cub Cadet push mower and a Honda tractor. They were in a locked garage, according to the post.

Pastor Paul Burow told WCCO they found the shed open and empty. He also pointed out to the station that nothing was taken from the two other nearby sheds.

According to WCCO, the items cost about $20,000.

The church asks that anyone with any information contact the police.

Increase in crime

The Brooklyn Park Police Department posted to Facebook on Friday that they've been seeing an increase in robberies.

Police say criminals have been targeting phones, purses and wallets. And in many cases, the suspects used force or threats of force to get the items.

You can reduce your risks by walking in groups, staying in well-travelled areas and not showing off expensive property, the police department says. 

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office also announced that they saw an increase in violent crime last year. But officials say it's part of a "national trend" and is not confined to the Twin Cities.

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