(Toledo News Now) – Since
August, 47 churches have been broken into in eight counties across Ohio and
Michigan. Police believe they are all connected and are searching for suspects.
Two churches in Tedrow,
Ohio – just outside of Wauseon – were broken into recently. On the same night,
three others in Fulton County were hit, and a church in Wauseon was targeted
the next day.
"All the break-ins are
similar," said Sergeant Tracy Zuver of the Fulton County Sheriff's Office. "What
they're doing is breaking a window, prying a window, or prying doors to get
into the church. Once they're inside…they ransack the different offices, and
they're apparently just looking for cash."
Over the last few months,
11 churches in Lenawee County, eight in Monroe, and 22 other churches in
Michigan counties were all broken into the same way.
Now police have a picture
of at least one of the suspects. He was caught on a Genesee County church's surveillance
camera stealing a bag of coins. Later that day, he was spotted at a Walmart,
cashing in those coins.
A pastor at one of the
affected churches hopes the picture can help bring closure to this ordeal, but
doesn't hold any anger toward the criminal.
"That's not our focus as
the body of Christ," said Doug King, pastor of the Tedrow Mennonite Church. "We
really want to see people's live changed, and we're just praying that change
will happen in the lives of the people that have been doing these break-ins."
Anyone with information related
to these break-ins should call the Lenawee County Crimestoppers at 517-266-6161
or the Fulton County Sheriff's Office at 800-255-1122.
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