Thou Shall Not Steal

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR -- Churches in Independence County seem to be a thieves' big target lately.

Church is a place where people usually go to repent for their sins, but instead these thieves were doing the wrong thing right there under the steeple.

"I wouldn't want somebody to do my home that way, much less a church," says N.V. Hodge.

That was N.V. Hodge three months ago talking about a break in and vandalism at his church. He thought that first time would be the last, but it wasn't. Sharp United Methodist was just one of the four churches burglarized last weekend throughout Independence County.

"You know to have this many in one weekend is kind of unusual, it's pretty much unusual," says Captain Bill Lindsey with the Independence County Sheriff's Department.

Captain Lindsey says thieves are usually after one thing when they steal.

"The thefts and the burglaries, it's people stealing to pay for their drugs and their habits is what it amounts to. That's what the whole problem is," says Captain Lindsey.

For the most part, the things stolen weren't of great value, but it's the concept that seems appalling. Things stolen included PA speakers, televisions, DVD players, office equipment, and they even had the audacity to steal money from the collection plates.

"Anytime someone will break into a church, why of course they're going to be dealing with a higher power than we are, but that's just time to come," says Captain Lindsey.

Lindsey says there are things the citizens can do to help. In their county, they've started community watches in some of these isolated areas.

"They seem to be helping in those areas where they've started. Hopefully we can get some more started in some other areas and get some more eyes and ears out there watching and help us solve this crime," adds Captain Lindsey.

The police don't have any suspects at this time, but Captain Lindsey says they need your help in solving these cases. If you have any information regarding any of the thefts, contact the Independence County Sheriff's Department immediately.