CRIME

Stafford County churches burglarized

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Authorities are searching for the suspects responsible for breaking into and burglarizing three churches in Stafford County since the new year.

The suspects made off with cash, flat-screen televisions, cash and a camera, Stafford County Sheriff's officials say.

The most recent burglary occurred Tuesday at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in the 100 block of Embrey Mill Road.

Ebenezer pastor Mark Miller said the crooks rifled through a lot of stuff.

"These drawers were open, these cabinet doors were open," Miller said.

Police said the suspects broke a window and an interior door to get into the church and then stole a safe that contained an undisclosed amount of gift cards, but fortunately not Sunday's offering.

"We're very blessed to have only lost what we lost because it could have been a lot worse," Miller said.

The first theft occurred sometime between Jan. 1 and Jan. 3 at the North Stafford Church of Christ on Shelton Shop Road. Police said the suspect or suspects entered the church through an unsecured door.

The second incident occurred between Jan. 3 and Jan. 4 at the Ramoth Baptist Church on Ramoth Church Road. In that incident, police suspect the suspects broke into the church by forcing a window open.

Deacon chairman Gary Bennett was installing new security measures Tuesday at Ramoth after crooks made off with flat screen TV's, computers and a camera.

"It shows that moral values in our country have really dropped off for somebody to go hit somebody that's trying to help the people," Bennett said. "WE have insurance, they just won't cover everything."

The Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett is asking "that if any citizen has any information that may help to identify the individual or individuals responsible for these senseless acts to contact the Sheriff's Office immediately."

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