A man who broke into a church office in Lamont used a microwave to warm up and nosh on homemade tamales, then apparently relaxed for a few hours before ransacking the office and making off with TVs and phones.
“Is nothing sacred?” asked Leonel Martinez, a former Lamont resident who was baptized and grew up at St. Augustine Catholic Church on Myrtle Avenue, where the burglary took place early Monday.
“The man spent several hours in there. He left masa all over a desk,” Martinez said of the cornmeal-like coating that covers tamales.
When an employee arrived Monday afternoon, the church office was strewn with papers.
According to Martinez, a security video shows a lone figure arriving at about midnight Sunday.
“It doesn’t show him leaving until about 6:30,” he said.
Stolen items included two TVs and two phones.
No suspect information is available, and there have been no arrests.
“So far, we are still waiting to see if there is any available surveillance video that shows a suspect,” the spokeswoman said.
According to Martinez, the surveillance video shows what appears to be an Hispanic man entering and leaving. Churches, he said, used to be considered unofficially off-limits to petty criminals and vandals. But no more.
But he’s nearly as incensed by the burglar’s casual breakfast as he is by the break-in itself.
For years, St. Augustine Church has sold tamales as a fundraiser.
“They have a reputation for making great tamales — and they are,” Martinez said.
“These are tamales you judge all other tamales by. They are as good as the tamales my grandmother made.”
And for this person to break, enter and dine on those Mexican delicacies, made with love and hard work by members of the church … well, it rubs him the wrong way.
“Even tamales aren’t sacred,” Martinez said. “What is the world coming to?”
Full story at Bakersfield.com.