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Burglars strike a dozen Hawkins County churches

Jeff Bobo • Sep 18, 2009 at 12:00 AM

CARTERS VALLEY — The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office is investigating 12 church burglaries that were discovered Friday in the eastern half of the county.

Investigators are now reaching out to the community for anyone with information about the crimes.

It’s not known if all of the burglaries occurred overnight Thursday, but Sheriff Roger Christian said he believes it would be too much of a coincidence if they weren’t related.

The church burglaries ranged from the Carters Valley area west almost to Rogersville in the eastern half of the county.

After a couple of church burglaries were reported Friday morning, HCSO deputies began checking all churches.

Several of the burglaries were discovered by deputies before church members knew what had happened.

The main mode of entry was to pry open a door.

Christian said there was money and other items found missing from some of the churches, but an exact list of missing items won’t be available until church members have an opportunity to conduct inventories and report back to the HCSO.

Grange Hall United Methodist Church, 5373 Carters Valley Road, Church Hill, was probably the farthest east church hit, Christian said.

“With that many churches being broken into, surely to goodness somebody saw something,” Christian said. “It started up Carters Valley and came back toward Rogersville. Grange Hall, Ridge View, Fisher’s Creek — all in the eastern half.

“Some of them were on Longs Bend Road. Hopefully somebody saw something and will be able to help us out.”

Christian didn’t have an exact list of the churches Friday evening, as some of the offense reports hadn’t been turned in yet.

Anyone with information about these burglaries is asked to call the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office at 272-4848.

“Some of them may have been hit the night before (Wednesday),” Christian said. “That’s a lot of burglaries for one person or group of people to do in one night.”

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