Sheriff#039;s office investigating church break-ins

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 2004

"Somebody out there knows something."

That was the appeal from Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton Monday regarding a rash of church break-ins over the weekend.

Worshippers at 13 churches arrived for Sunday services to find their houses of worship broken into, and electronic equipment, mostly sound systems, taken.

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Sexton said in all 13 cases, culprits pried open doors and windows to gain entry.

A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of those responsible. Sexton said he believes all of the burglaries were committed by the same person or persons.

"We find, at times, somebody will hear another bragging about committing these acts or may know a person that suddenly possessed or attempted to sell items similar to those stolen, such as speakers, microphones or other sound system-related products," Sexton said. … "Past crimes have been solved upon receipt of phone calls any anonymous written information sent to our agency."

The churches that were victimized were the United Methodist Church on State Route 243, Independent Baptist Church and Freedom Independent Baptist Church in Union Township; Fairview Baptist, Lecta Christian, Oakey Chapel and Palestine United Baptist, all in Mason Township; Union Baptist in Lawrence Township;

Union Baptist and Lucinda Baptist in Rome Township; Windsor Chapel and Perkins Ridge Missionary Baptist, both in Windsor Township; and Forest Ridge Community Church in Symmes Township.

"We are very concerned about the number of churches in this one week that were entered and we will do all we can to find those responsible," Sexton said. "However, we need that one lead that a citizen may have to offer, thus we encourage citizens to call with information."

The sheriff's office telephone number is 532-3525.