By Marlee Ginter

SONORA (CBS13) – Pastor Randy Ehle, of The Journey Church of Sonora, walked us through the trail of heartbreak a thief left behind.

Someone broke into the church and took off with a laptop, a camera and a safe containing historical items.

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“The couch was slid out like this, things were strewn all over the place and there was a gaping hole right there where the safe normally belongs,” Ehle said.

Inside that safe sat two original ledger books that had the records from the very beginning of the church – we’re talking more than a century old.

“Nothing of monetary value in the safe but irreplaceable historical value,” Ehle said.

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 The Journey Church formed as the first baptist church of Sonora in 1857 – just after the Gold Rush.

“When I saw that the safe was gone, my heart just sunk,” Ehle said. “It’s because of those historical documents. Because insurance will cover all the material things, but those documents are irreplaceable.”

Historic ledgers that documented the beginning of one of the oldest churches in Sonora, now gone. Only one page had been scanned and saved digitally. Pastor Ehle said he’s hopeful the thief will have a change of heart and return them.

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“Just thinking about oh, here’s this history. Unless God answers our prayers, we’ll never see again,” he said.