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Troopers Investigating Church Burglaries

Posted on: 5:58 pm, October 22, 2013, by

State police in central Pennsylvania are investigating burglaries at two churches in the Sunbury area and appears whoever broke in had a sweet tooth.

The burglaries happened sometime Sunday night into Monday morning and left the houses of worship a mess.

One church was littered with candy wrappers, candy that was meant for children during Sunday services.

The doors at United Lutheran Church near Sunbury are always open. Church council president Larry Conrad showed us inside after police said thieves took full advantage of that fact, damaging the church office door and making off with computers and a donation jar with money.

“And a lot of food candy wise that would have gone to children Sunday morning,” added Conrad.

Conrad said whoever targeted the church ate 80 packs of gummy snacks and drank cans of soda.

Some of those cans ended up at another church a short drive away, according to church leaders. State police are investigating the break-in at Mountain Presbyterian Church which the pastor said caused as much as $5,000 in damage.

“I wondered what’s in the hearts and minds of people who would attempt to do something like that,” said Pastor Bob Reich.

Pastor Reich shared photos of the damage including a busted television, a safe torn off the floor and candles dangerously left burning.

“The wood would have burned down to the pew, the pew cover and the pews and carpet would have all started a fire, only god knows what could have happened next with all that,” added Pastor Reich.

The thieves made off with a credit card belonging to the Presbyterian church and tried to use it at stores near Selinsgrove, said the pastor. Now troopers are investigating hoping to catch burglars who may have burglarized more than two churches.

Church leaders said investigators told them there have been several other similar church burglaries in the area in recent weeks.

Enough for both churches to make plans to implement new security upgrades.

“We’re still going to do security, still going to try to tighten up. And do something different. If they want in, they’ll still get in,” said Conrad.

State police would only say the burglaries are under investigation, but would not say how many.

Anyone with information should call police.

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