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Three new Hawkins church burglaries bring total to 26

Jeff Bobo • Sep 22, 2009 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — On Tuesday, the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office released information about three new church burglaries, which actually had been reported to the HCSO by church members on Monday.

One of Monday’s churches was a repeat victim.

That bumps the total up to 26 church burglaries or attempted church burglaries in Hawkins County at 23 different churches over the past week.

Monday’s repeat victim was Grange Hall United Methodist Church on Carters Valley Road, which was also among the 11 churches discovered burglarized Friday.

The basement door at Grange Hall had reportedly been secured with a piece of wood from Friday’s burglary.

On Monday, a member checking on the church found that piece of wood cracked, but apparently entry was not made and no monetary damage was reported.

The other two church burglaries reported Monday were at Lafollette Chapel on Stanley Valley Road, which suffered damage to a lock but had nothing taken, and Cedar Grove Church of the Brethren on Hickory Cove Road, which reported the front door had been forced open but nothing was missing.

Sheriff Roger Christian said Tuesday his department is still following up leads, but no arrests had been made as of that evening.

He added, however, that the new burglaries might be copycats. On a bright note, Christian said the HCSO has been receiving some telephone tips about the burglaries.

“I know if they keep it up, eventually somebody is going to see something and they’ll get caught,” Christian said.

Several church burglaries were reported Friday morning, prompting HCSO deputies to check all churches. Eventually they found 11 church burglaries Friday.

Sunday as worshippers arrived for morning service, another 12 burglaries were discovered including two repeat victims.

In most cases, nothing was taken and the only damage was to doors, which were pried open.

In a few cases a small amount of cash, a CD player or a DVD player was taken.

Christian is warning church members to keep a close eye on their churches. He asks anyone with information about the burglaries to contact the HCSO at 272-4848.

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