Four Clearwater churches burglarized, police seek suspects - WFLA News Channel 8

Four Clearwater churches burglarized, police seek suspects

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Grace Lutheran Church is 1 of 4 churches broken into in the last 4 days. Grace Lutheran Church is 1 of 4 churches broken into in the last 4 days.

Clearwater police are asking for the public's help after a recent string of church burglaries.  Investigators say that four churches have been broken into in recent days.

The church burglaries began Friday at the "Light of Christ" Catholic Church in Clearwater. The burglar went through an unlocked door... Then b-lined for a small store inside. The thief got into a safe, stole cash, then got cut trying to break into a cash register. "We often are dealing with people who are in need. And there's a lot of people who need money right now, so it's an unfortunate situation that the church becomes a very vulnerable place" said Seminarian Chuck Dornquast.

Different day, different church, this time, Grace Lutheran on North Highland. Same M.O. Someone broke in, stole money and bolted. Besides getting away with money,  the thief got away with the car keys to this van. They stole the van, fingerprint dust is still evident. Cops found it at Crest Lake Park.  The thief pulled the same stunt at Skycrest United Methodist, forcing his way in to steal cash.

And at Friendship United Methodist on Druid , the culprit cut a hand breaking through a window. "Actually we were hit not long ago, so we've learned our lesson. They did not get much. We had the computers and other things, they were all there, but they were really looking for money" said Senior Pastor Tamara Isidore. After breaking through a door, and ransacking the office, the official take: some pocket change. I would have loved to have a chance to sit down and chat with that person and see what's going on in his or her life, and how can we better help" said Isidore.

Cops have a more immediate plan... A jail cell.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about these burglaries to contact the Burglary Unit at 562-4310 or the Clearwater Police Department Tip Line at 562-4080 (option #2).


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