Historical society Chairwoman Tia Nadeau Wilson said those items included a flag, a cross and a memorial plaque. She said they seemed to be so specifically targeted that she wondered if there was a connection to the photo of King's appearance.
The thieves also stole historic photos but left the frames. She said: "I think there's something morbid going on." Police are investigating. The Methodist Church in West Durham is not far from King's childhood home. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.
This story has been corrected to show that Wilson's quote should read, "I think there's something morbid going on," not "I think something morbid is going on."