Churches Targeted in Wayne County

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State police in Wayne County are looking for information on two incidents involving churches.

Investigators said one church was burglarized over the weekend in Damascus, and another church was almost broken into Monday night in Preston Township.

Pastor Lane Jones pointed to the spot out where a water jug used to collect donations once sat in the lobby of the Calkins Baptist Church. Rev. Jones said the church in Damascus was broken into sometime between Friday and Saturday.

He said the burglars pried open a window in the church's annex room and made off with the jar of loose change and bills, getting between $200 and $300.

"The window had been broken," said Rev. Jones. "We looked around, I came over and the only thing we found, thankfully, that was missing was the jug in the back."

Jones said the money was being collected for an addition the church is planning to build.

Still, Jones said he's not upset; he's more saddened that people resort to stealing.

"We would just like to see them do the right thing," said Jones. "It's not that it hurt us as much as it hurts them because when you do the wrong thing, I believe that sin hardens the heart."

Just a few days later there was an attempted break-in at a church in Preston Township near Lakewood, according to state police in Wayne County.

Sometime Monday night, someone tried to pry open the front doors of the Orson Methodist Church but was unable to get inside, said investigators.

Phil Sims lives next door to the church.

"When something like that happens, you always think ‘I need to be a bit more cautious, maybe lock the doors,’ you know, which you don't necessarily do up here a lot," said Sims.

Sims said for someone to try to burglarize a church, it may be a sign of how hard times have gotten.

"People up here are really hurting and a lot of people can't even heat their houses, so you kind of expect it," said Sims. "What do you do when you're really down and out?"

Anyone with information on either of these two incidents in Wayne County is asked to state police in Honesdale at (570) 253-7126.