Plainview Police Investigate Church Burglaries - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/30/05

Plainview Police Investigate Church Burglaries

The eighth commandment "Thou shalt not steal" is being ignored by burglars who have hit ten churches in Plainview in the past three weeks. Breaking into God's house, they strike on Sunday nights when they think collection plates will be full. Captain Michael Carroll with the Plainview Police Department says, "Thankfully most churches have more sense than to keep money in the church overnight like that."

Carroll says burglars may be looking for money to buy drugs. In each case the burglars got into the churches by breaking a window or door. At Trinity Fellowship Church, first they cut the phone lines, broke one glass door, proceeded to cut the fire alarm wire and then broke a second glass door. Pastor Wally Chavez says, "One of those people cut themselves so if you've seen anybody with cuts on their hands or wrists, you might inquire, they might have been up to something."

Just up the road from Trinity, First Assembly of God was also hit, but this time a motion sensored alarm foiled the break-in. Pastor Randy Santiago says, "The police department told me this was their third on that evening. It's a scary thought. We're just glad we have the protection we have." Chavez says, "Our hearts go out to people who feel like they have to go out in the middle of the night and break into churches, houses or cars. We hope someday their lives will be changed." Captain Carroll says, "I'm not gonna give away my secrets, but if they come out this Sunday night, they might have a surprise in for 'em."

So far, the burglars have only made off with small amounts of cash totaling about three hundred dollars, but they've caused close to $6,000 in damages. If you can help police solve these crimes, call the Plainview Crimestoppers at (806) 293-8477.

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