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Investigators have been hard at work during the last two weeks investigating a string of unusual break-ins at churches throughout the county.
According to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office press release issued Friday, Aug. 22, at least 10 churches were entered by an unknown person or people during the previous two weeks.
The circumstances of each break-in have differed, investigators said.
In some of the cases, damage was caused during entry. In all but two of the incidents, no items of significant value were stolen, and in some of the break-ins the suspect didn’t steal anything, the release said.
Deputies noticed that in some of the incidents, someone stole unusual items from the churches, including a water hose, food, motor oil, and a stove burner off of a stove.
The churches include:
u Camp Creek AME Zion Church, 4022 Demount Road
u Rocky Branch Baptist Church, 8407 Taxahaw Road
u Faith Baptist Church, 4695 JB Denton Road
u Camp Creek United Methodist, 4721 Great Falls Highway
u Bethel Baptist Church, 2893 Bethel Road
u Gold Hill AME Zion Church, 9239 Van Wyck Road
u Madeonia Missionary Baptist Church, 8805 Van Wyck Road
u St. Paul AME Zion Church, 5841 Taxahaw Road
u Beaver Creek Presbyterian Church, 1928 Kershaw Country Club Road
u Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church, 2814 Old Hickory Road
Teams of criminal and crime scene investigators responded to each scene and began a detailed investigation.
Deputies have also increased patrols in the area of the churches.
It is unknown how many people may be responsible or if all of the cases are related. The sheriff’s office did not have any additional information to release on Friday.
Sheriff Barry Faile said investigators are tracking down leads to identify suspects.
“We’re working diligently to determine who is responsible for these incidents. Suspects who would burglarize a place of worship do not deserve to be free on the street and we will do everything possible to make sure they are brought to justice,” Faile said.
The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information about those responsible to call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 283-4136 or contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-Crime SC (1-888-274-6372). You can e-mail or text your anonymous tip at www.midlandscrimestoppers.com.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416