Minneapolis Churches Warned about String of Burglaries

November 29, 2008 at 3:55 am Leave a comment

Minneapolis police are warning staff at churches, temples, synagogues and other places of worship to be extra careful to secure property, lock doors and conduct a building sweep before going home at night in the aftermath of a string of burglaries in the past three weeks.

Thieves have hit at least eight faith institutions in the Third Precinct on the city’s South Side and two others in the neighboring Fifth Precinct on the west side of Interstate Hwy. 35W since Nov. 2. They’ve taken office supplies, checks, cash, a laptop computer, electronics and other items, police said.

Most of the thefts have occurred on Sunday afternoons to Monday mornings and on Wednesday evenings to Thursday mornings. In some of the cases, police suspect the burglars are entering buildings during religious services and special events or meetings and finding a place to hide out. Then when church staff leaves the building, the burglars break into offices and other rooms to search for and steal valuables, police said.

Once inside, the culprits are breaking windows and prying open doors to gain access to various parts of the building. At least one church was ransacked, police said.

With the holiday season beginning with pre-Thanksgiving services tonight, police are reminding places of worship to make frequent deposits of donations, lock all inter-office doors, secure all doors and windows, turn on exterior lights and control access to the building. Police also suggest checking bathrooms, unlocked rooms and other areas of the buildings where thieves could be hiding before locking up for the day.

Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune


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