There has been another church burglary in Union County.
This makes five church break-ins over the last couple months in that part of central Pennsylvania.
The crime spree may be even more widespread.
Someone started targeting churches in the Lewisburg area a couple of months ago.
The burglars even made off with expensive sound equipment from one church.
State troopers said the rash of break-ins has continued and spread west, hitting a half dozen more churches in recent weeks.
Cheryl Ritter has attended Zion United Methodist Church all her life. The house of worship is near Middleburg in rural Snyder County.
It is one of the latest churches in the area to be hit by burglars. Ritter said they broke in last week through a back door then damaged an office door in order to get jars filled with change.
“The next morning we heard other churches were broken into. It’s just a shame,” said Ritter.
Several more nearby churches were broken into in recent weeks, according to state police. Before that, someone broke into some churches in neighboring Union County and in one case, made off with thousands of dollars worth of sound equipment.
“It’s shocking, of course it’s very disconcerting, the fact that people are targeting churches,” said Pastor Michael Romig of the Dreisbach United Church of Christ near Lewisburg.
Pastor Romig pointed out where someone pried open the door at the church earlier this week. The burglars made off with some cash and caused some damage.
A fire-proof filing cabinet was damaged in the break-in and will have to be replaced. Extra security measures might have to be taken if these break-ins keep happening, according to Pastor Romig.
“We have lighting and the doors locked, we may have to look at something to make it a little more secure,” he said.
Even more churches have been broken into farther west in Centre County, said state police.
Investigators are not sure if all the break-ins are connected.