Thieves steal, destroy signs made by group advocating to save Pewaukee church

NOW: Thieves steal, destroy signs made by group advocating to save Pewaukee church

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A group of people in Pewaukee are fighting to save a 161-year-old church, but someone is trying to stop their efforts by stealing and destroying their signs advocating for the church.

People advocating to save St. Mary's church have put signs all over the community. Right outside a home on Main Street are signs that say, "Stop Big Development. Save St. Mary's." But the woman who lives there says she's had to replace them two times, because someone keeps taking them.

Pewaukee police say 18 signs have been stolen from several different homes in the community, and six have been vandalized. Another homeowner, Barbara Brandt, has had hers taken twice, too. 

"I have an opinion of what's going on with the church, and I feel I have the right to voice that opinion," Brandt said. 

Capri Senior Communities has plans to build a four-story condo on the property of St. Mary's. They say they're looking forward to the approval process, and say studies have shown the community is in need of more senior housing. 

Agape Community Church has been renting St. Mary's for several years. Its lease wasn't renewed, but that hasn't stopped the congregation from worshiping together. The church has been holding services at Pewaukee High School for the past two weeks. 

Many have faith that their efforts will help save the 161-year-old church, and they hope others will join them.

"When that church is gone, it’s gone forever, and we don’t want to have regrets. So get involved, come to the meetings and voice your opinion," said Kathy Losiniecki with the committee to save St. Mary's. 

A village trustee says Capri Senior Communities has submitted an application for their proposed development of St. Mary's, but it still needs to be presented to the Village Plan Commission. It's not on the agenda yet, but many plan to address it in the village's public comment Thursday night.

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