JPD investigating school, church break-ins

JPD investigating school, church break-ins

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Monday morning Jonesboro police responded to 2 break-ins at a church and a school just a few blocks apart. By that afternoon, two more churches in the same vicinity called in to report break-ins as well.

The first burglary was reported at 7:50 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament School, 1105 E. Highland. According to an employee, the break-in happened sometime between 7 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday.

Officer Billy Anderson reported the suspect entered through the back doors. According to his report there were “muddy shoe prints” by both of the doors.

Once inside, the suspect kicked open an office door and broke the lock on a key box. It was unknown at the time of the report if any of the keys had been taken.

Anderson stated the suspect also broke a small glass window in the library door. At some point, the suspect cut himself and dripped blood on the floor between the office and the library.

"It doesn't appear that any computers or anything major that would affect the educational side of things were taken," John Street with Blessed Sacrament told Region 8 News.

Detective Sergeant R.J. Smith with the Jonesboro Police Department was called to the scene to collect evidence.

Before leaving the building, the suspect apparently kicked a classroom door open and stole a television valued at $300. The TV was found on the north side of the parking lot beside a tree. It was dusted for fingerprints and returned to the school.

An hour later, Officer Gary Wayne McClard responded to a theft at Highland Drive Baptist Church, 515 E. Highland.

Youth Pastor Jace Tubbs said when he got to work Monday morning he discovered a window broken out in one of the church offices, the report said.

McClard searched the room and found a flat-point screwdriver on one of the office chairs.

It appeared the screwdriver came through a double-paned glass and traveled 10 feet, hitting and breaking a particle board cabinet with oak veneer, before coming to rest on the chair, according to McClard's report.

After clearing the scene and taking the report, McClard left the scene only to be called back a short time later regarding the theft of $350 in cash.

Tubbs stated the money had been taken out of a locked filing cabinet in the next office north of the one with the broken glass.

Due to the effort taken to hide the money and the key to the filing cabinet, McClard said the suspect would have had to have known where the cash would be.

Around 1 pm, officials with Community of Christ Church called JPD to report a break-in at their building. Officer McClard responded to that call as well. Mike Johnson told police he stopped by to attend to church business.

Once there, he noticed a door to a pastor's office had been kicked in. Johnson said it appeared a desk had been rifled through but that it didn't look like anything was missing.

Damages at Community of Christ were estimated at $400.

At 3 pm, Officer Keith Baggett responded to Faith Freewill Baptist Church. The church is located across the street from Blessed Sacrament and Community of Christ Church on Highland Drive.

When Baggett was dispatched, it was not yet known if anything had been stolen from Faith Freewill Baptist.

Detective Sgt. Smith said police are stepping up patrols in the area.

"Just be on the lookout for anyone suspicious and hopefully drive through those parking lots and see," Smith said. "The concern was possibly that maybe they'd found something they'd want to come back for."

All four locations are within a half-mile radius of each other.

If you have any information on either of these cases, call CrimeStoppers at 935-STOP (7867).

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