Police identify suspect in church burglaries as churches pray for him

Police identify suspect in church burglaries as churches pray for him
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Police have identified a man suspected of breaking into and stealing from a number of East Texas churches.

36-year-old Kinon Peacock is now wanted for burglary of a building, a state jail felony.

Peacock is seen in surveillance video, walking outside of the First Christian Church Christian Life Center.

"You kind of feel violated, and it's an area of our church where the children are that really made us extra concerned about that," said Facilities Director, Dave Hill.

The string of church burglaries across Tyler started August 22, the latest attempted break in was just last week.

"I think desperate times call for desperate measures sometimes and I feel bad this gentleman felt the need to break into our church," Hill said.

First Christian Church officials said Peacock got away with a safe and a small amount of cash.

Father Hank Lanik with Saints Peter and Paul Chapel said he broke a window to get inside and steal their candle money.

"These things kind of wake you up and make you realize we need to be more careful," Lanik said.

Lanik said while the burglaries have turned their attention to security, they aren't afraid.

"We have them open every day from the morning service to the evening because we want people to be able to pray and be with God; we aren't going to change that," Lanik said.

Over at First Christian Church, officials said they have made the disappointing decision of heightening their security.

"You'd like to think a church can be wide open, but unfortunately we have to keep our doors locked more than we have in the past," Hill said.

Officials at both churches agree, even though Peacock's original intention was to steal, they hope he returns for something else.

"I hope he can get right with the Lord, right with his life. If there is any way we can help him do that, we'd be happy to do that," Hill said.

"We wanted to pray for the person that did this. As always as a church, we have to believe people have conversions, people have change of hearts," Lanik said.

On Thursday, investigators spotted Peacock in his vehicle and attempted to take him into custody.  Peacock fled on foot from his vehicle, evading arrest.

Anyone with information about the location of Peacock or have any additional information related to these church burglaries are urged to contact the Tyler Police Department, at 903-531-1000.

Copyright 2016 KLTV. All rights reserved.