EXCLUSIVE: Jacksonville church leaders believe they were targeted after multiple break-ins and fire

EXCLUSIVE: Church burglarized, set on fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Parkwood Baptist leaders in Arlington believe their church is being targeted by two men.

Back in October, they first noticed items missing and the place ransacked. Since the first incident, they added security cameras and picked up lots of activity.

One video shows a man walking toward the church late at night, putting what appears to be gloves on his hands.

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Another clip shows two men inside, near the altar. Once one sees the camera, it’s immediately turned over, blocking the view. There’s also footage of two men climbing out of a back window.

Over the course of two months, Lead Pastor Manny Keyser said the crime is escalating. Money, musical instruments, and toys for children in need have been stolen. Keyser gave us two incident reports showing the reported burglaries. Most recently, Keyser said the two men who have been visiting the church weekly, set fire to their third floor.

“Items that were left, the way things were placed, how things caught on fire, all indicate to them that this was intentional,” Keyser said.

A spokesperson for the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department confirms crews responded to the church on Tuesday, and the fire marshall was requested. Keyser gave Action News Jax a look at the extensive damage to the third floor. He also showed us surveillance video showing two men entering the church with a large item in hand the night of the fire.

Keyser is asking for the community’s help in finding out who is doing this.

“They can help bring eyes onto our property,” Keyser said. “It will also help for people to be aware that they’re in our community. These are people who are living right next to us.”

Arlington church leaders believe they were targeted after multiple break-ins and an alleged fire