East Texas churches targeted by burglars - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas churches targeted by burglars

UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A rash of thefts and burglaries at East Texas churches over the last month has investigators looking for clues.

Upshur County sheriffs investigators are hoping someone will come forward with something that will tell them who is targeting churches.

For a month investigators have been trying to find out who has been breaking into churches around East Texas.

"In the last 30 days we've had approximately five," said Upshur County Sheriff's Investigator Mark Moore. "Several of them are burglaries."

From Mt. Pleasant to Gilmer to Ore City and Diana, church doors and windows forced open or broken in.

"You know they're taking from churches, and in our economic situation that we're under, churches have a hard enough time surviving...that's pretty low," said Moore.

Investigators say thieves are targeting churches to get anything of value - money, items and even copper.

Some of the churches have security cameras which make them low risk targets.

"These individuals are actually stealing the air conditioning units," said Moore. "They're taking the whole compressor units which is very costly to the local churches...tens of thousands of dollars to replace these units."

They appear to have happened in the same general area, at about the same time frame.

"We felt confident that two of the thefts of the air conditioners occurred on the same night, and we can substantiate that those two are probably connected," said Moore. "Surrounding counties are also having some of the same type of incidents."

Until the suspects are identified, law enforcement can only warn churches to keep an eye out.

"We're asking the church community to be aware of what's going on," said Moore.

Anyone with information on these burglaries is asked to call the Upshur County Sheriff's Office or CrimeStoppers.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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