Churches in Jackson, Lenawee Counties Report Burglaries

On Monday morning, Pastor Jonathan Arnold walked into a mess he had never seen before in his office. All for just a few dollars.

"The office had a petty cash drawer and that basically was emptied out completely," said the pastor of Skiff Lake Bible Church in Liberty Township. "They took that which was only about $25."

But it was enough for Arnold to call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. It didn't take long to learn the Skiff Lake Bible Church wasn't alone. Two other churches in Columbia Township, Heart O' the Lakes and Saint Rita's, reported stolen cash and a stolen television, respectively.

A fourth church called Crosspointe in Lenawee County also reported a stolen television and computer. Columbia Township Police Chief David Elwell believes the burglaries are all connected.

"Number one, the geography of it, the timing of it, the method of entry," he said.

Police say the suspects broke into all four churches in a similar way. By prying open a window, before heading to an office area.

The next step is finding the people responsible. Security cameras at Crosspointe, which the Lenawee County Sheriff's Office says captured three to four men dressed in black breaking in, could help.

"I have high hopes that we'll be able to solve these and charge the persons that are responsible," said Chief Elwell. "If we get to that point, it'll be interesting to see what the circumstances are that would cause them to break into a church."

"You would hope that people would recognize that a church is there to do good for the community and that people wouldn't attack that," said Arnold.

If it happens again, Pastor Kevin Cherry, of Heart O' the Lakes, says hopefully his church will be better protected.

"This just helps us see the reality, the need and possibly more that we could do," he said.


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