Church Burglaries in Barbour County Keep Authorities Busy

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

Pastor Ronnie Benefield says when he began preaching at Friendly Assembly Of God in Baker Hill, there was no need for locks on the church doors.

Pastor Benefield says, "It’s hard to believe, if people will vandalize churches and break into churches you know, people get the idea that they're not even safe in their own homes."

But now, after a rash of burglaries in the area, members and residents are doing a lot more than just locking their doors.

Deputy Ingram says, "Last Sunday we started receiving calls of churches being broken into, it started Sunday, it was a week ago after Sunday night services, since then we've had four churches that have actually been entered and had items stolen, we've had two more where there's been entry, but nothing stolen."

Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram says thousands of dollars of musical equipment have been stolen from the churches, but the most puzzling part is that the thieves also stole items that would have been given to them for free.

Deputy Ingram says, "You know, you go to a church to steal food when you could go knock on a door and they'd give you what you're stealing, it just boils down to being sorry."

As of right now, authorities say there are at least two suspects involved.

Ingram says while the burglars may not have been linked to the church, they somehow knew where to find what they were looking for.

Ingram says, "It appears they know their way around these churches real well, but for somebody to go from you know four to five different churches, I doubt it but they know the churches very well because they went straight for what they wanted."

While the suspects may not be in custody, yet Benefield says they've already been caught.

Benefield says, “They're already caught, god knows who it was, who they are, where they're at and whether they get caught now or later they're caught."

Ingram says there have been recent church burglaries in Georgia with similarities.

Both agencies are working together to put the spree to an end.

If you have any information about the crimes you are asked to call Barbour County Sheriff's Office at 775-3434.

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