Florida Baptist Credit Union robbed over Labor Day weekend
Members' accounts & information safe, president says
Sep 7, 2010

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)- The Jacksonville-based Florida Baptist Credit Union, with nearly 3,000 members and assets of more than $24 million, was burglarized over Labor Day weekend with robbers taking an undisclosed amount of cash, according to the credit union’s president, Perry Kenner.

Kenner told Florida Baptist Witness he and two other employees discovered the break in at 7:30 a.m. today in the process of performing a “routine inspection” of the premises when they reported for work.

“We went back out, locked up and called the police,” Kenner said.

Phone and computer cable lines were cut to the building, Kenner said, and in spite of security systems all financial institutions are required to have, someone gained entry to the building, damaged property and stole cash.

“It was obviously a group of professionals,” Kenner said. “They knew what they were doing and they did a good job. Beyond that we have no idea [who it was],” he said.

Kenner, who has been FBCU president since April 2009, said he is confident the perpetrator(s) did not attempt to access members accounts or information.

“They were just very single mindedly focused on the little amount of cash,” Kenner said.  “Why you would pick us to nail, I don’t know. We don’t have much because we are small.”

Bonds and investments are not stored physically at the Jacksonville credit union building. They are called “book entry,” Kenner said, and so even with the cash stolen, it wasn’t like the robbery will affect any individual.

For account holders, it would be no different than if a computer or any physical property had been stolen from the credit union.

“It means nothing really than we were closed today and we hope to be back open and functioning tomorrow,” Kenner said. “We’re fine; we’re sound. It’s an unfortunate occurrence, but we have procedures in place and we will implement those procedures.”

Kenner said it took police about an hour to respond to his initial call. Afterwards, they spent nearly four hours combing the building for evidence and asking questions. They were very “low key,” he said, entering and exiting the building through side and rear entrances. Most of the credit union employees had been sent home for the day.

“It’s a disturbing experience to have to go through,” Kenner said of the robbery. “It’s traumatic, but you just have to work through it.”

Acknowledging the credit union is located on the property where the Florida Baptist Convention offices are located in Jacksonville, Kenner called the break in “troubling” and the first time the financial institution has been robbed since it was founded in 1986.

“It’s about one step removed from stealing from the church, … but those are the times we are in,” Kenner said.

Online banking appeared to be functioning outside of the credit union and Kenner said that’s because some of the functions of the credit union do not depend on the services of the Jacksonville office.

“We are trying as fast as we can to get every back to normal,” Kenner said. He anticipated the credit union would be open by Wednesday.

Steve Baumgardner, chairman of the board of directors of the Florida Baptist Credit Union and director of business services of the Florida Baptist Convention, told the Witness he believed Kenner was handling matters wisely.

“I am confident that Perry Kenner, president and CEO, will handle all matters related to the break in and robbery of the Florida Baptist Credit Union and that it will be up and running in the very near future.”

For more information about the Florida Baptist Credit Union, call 800-749-3228 (after phone lines are restored) or go to www.fbcu.org.

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