JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Jackson ministry says that a “Godless spirit of evil” lingers over the city after being robbed, they claim, on a monthly basis.
In a social media post on Sunday, Wingard Home, which houses those who have found themselves temporarily displaced, asked for the public’s prayers for their ministry as well as for the Capital City in general.
“We have been robbed and violated on a monthly basis for about 8 months now...on a regular basis...sometimes weekly!” the post began.
They called the robberies both stressful and mentally disrupting and that some children who stay at the home are now not sleeping well due to their “always looking for the ‘bad guys.’”
Surveillance footage from the ministry, obtained by 3 On Your Side, shows a man entering the property at approximately 2 p.m. Saturday.
The man broke into the ministry shop by picking the lock, stole a weed eater, a chainsaw and a bag of medicine which had recently been purchased from Walgreens.
The footage then shows four people chase after the man.
When they ran back into the camera’s field of view, they had gotten the weed eater and chainsaw back.
The man then produced a makeshift knife briefly, put it back in his pocket, and calmly picked up the chainsaw.
When Wingard Home founder Roy Wingard saw the video, he recognized the culprit.
“He held me up 10 minutes, asking for money the night before,” Wingard said. “I told him I don’t know, I don’t have any money to give you.”
Two days later, that man’s still walking the streets.
One of Wingard’s volunteers spotted him walking into an abandoned house not far from their gated property.
“To come in just, you know, because ‘you won’t help me, I’m gonna come steal what you got’ doesn’t like, doesn’t make sense to me,” Wingard said.
For Wingard, whose nonprofit provides shelter for the homeless, it’s the ultimate insult because he gives so much to others.
Wingard has no plans to leave Jackson or his calling here; he loves the city and its residents.
However, he also waited two hours for Jackson police to show up Saturday, a frustration he thinks will only be solved with more officers and more incentives to hold people who break the law responsible.
“It’s not gonna stop, because ain’t nothing gonna be done about it. You talking about slapping somebody on the wrist? That’s a children’s game,” Wingard said. “Let’s take you on a corner and put you in timeout.”
The Facebook post echoes that frustration, begging for something to change, saying “we simply cannot stay awake 24 hours a day to be vigilantes.”
The writer of the post then said that Jackson “has turned into a free for all” and that no one respects the police, the ministers, the children or the elderly.
“There is a Godless spirit of evil over this city and a lot of hate. We are trying to stand and stand strong, but the body is getting weak!”
WLBT has done several stories on the Wingard Home, including a 2015 profile which can be read HERE.