Burney pastor pleads for information after burglars make off with “irreplaceable” items

BURNEY — A local pastor and long-time Burney resident is asking for the public’s help after burglars broke into Word of Life Assembly sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, April 6th or 7th. Although there is no surveillance footage of the burglary, the pastor has since learned that there was a report of three suspicious men seen walking around the church the night of the break-in.

Along with various electronics, such as an iPad, a MEVO camera with an extended battery, two laptops, and various musical equipment stolen during the burglary, thieves also made off with three guitars, including two with tremendous sentimental value that the pastor has since called “irreplaceable.”

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Word of Life’s Senior Pastor, Ken Frazier, who has lived in Burney for the last 18 years, first shared information about the burglary the morning he discovered the break-in. In a social media post, he pleaded for information and for area residents to be on the lookout for the church’s – and his – stolen property.

Most troubling about the burglary according to Ken, was the theft of an Ibanez guitar that his father had given him before passing away just days earlier, on March 14. Another guitar stolen during the burglary, a customized Line 6, was given to Ken by a member of his congregation whose brother passed away. “He was a guitar collector and she gave me the Line 6 guitar from his collection,” Ken later explained.

More than anything else stolen during last weekend’s burglary, Word of Life Assembly’s senior pastor Ken Frazier is mourning the loss of an Ibanez guitar, given to him by his father who passed away last month.

Ken, who has worked at WOLA for 17 years and spent the last 12 of those years as senior pastor, later told SCNS that this was not the first time the church had been broken into, victimized, or stolen from.

“We’ve been broken into a couple of times over the years,” Ken explained. “One of those cases was solved within a few weeks of the crime but the other was never solved. However, there wasn’t much taken that time.”

Although the church did not have security cameras the night of the burglary, Ken says that due to this most recent break-in as well as other burglaries and incidents, the church will now be installing a full security system with cameras.

The frustrated pastor said he is satisfied with the sheriff’s ongoing investigation, saying Shasta County Sheriff’s Sgt. St Claire “was very professional and did a great job.” But he also said, “Unfortunately, we have definitely seen a rise in crime throughout the area, and I believe it’s because the criminals know not much will happen to them if they get caught.”

“We have good people working here in law enforcement,” Ken continued. “But I think they are as frustrated about the crime as we are – maybe even more – but their hands are tied on what they can do.” 

“Our system is broken, plain and simple, and it’s not the fault of our local law enforcement. It is the fault of our government,” Ken explained. “But more importantly I believe the breakdown of the family has more to do with it than anything. If we fix the family I believe we fix a big part of the problem.”

Asked what he would say to the burglars who victimized his church, Ken replied, “I’m sorry that you are in a place that you felt the need to steal from the church in which most of the stuff was my personal property.”

“God is my defender and I am praying that you meet Him personally because when you do He will change your life and you won’t have a need to steal from people anymore,” Ken continued.

“But know this, you will not have peace in your life until you surrender and turn your lives around!”

Anyone with information regarding this burglary is encouraged to contact Shasta County Sheriff’s Burney Mountain Sub-Station at (530) 245-6070. Callers can remain anonymous.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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