Church break-ins rising in Muhlenberg Co., authorities stepping - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Church break-ins rising in Muhlenberg Co., authorities stepping in

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MUHLENBERG CO., KY (WFIE) -

Law enforcement in Muhlenberg County tell 14 News there's been a startling increase in the number of church break-ins, and they've done something about it.  

The sheriff's office is working on stepping up patrols specifically with churches, and several pastors say it's making a big difference.

"You never know when they're coming to check things out, but they're here and I really appreciate that," Pastor Danny Mooneyhan said. 

Pastor Mooneyhan says his church, Roland Memorial Baptist, was one of many throughout the community that has been broken into.

"We didn't have any damage done, more just little things than anything else that we had to do some repair work on," Mooneyhan said. 

Sheriff Curtis McGehee says it started out with thieves targeting the copper in the churches air conditioning units, but it got worse.

"They actually started breaking out windows, knocking out doors, and doing whatever they had to do to get inside the church and going in looking for items like computers, cameras, cash," McGehee said.

Over the past few weeks, the sheriff's office has stepped up patrols in the middle of the night, specifically with churches and some businesses. 

"They leave door hangers at different times of the night and just felt real comfortable that they're checking things out for us," Mooneyhan said.

McGehee says recently he's seen a drastic decrease in reports of break-ins and they're even posting security stickers at these locations to let criminals know they're watching.

"There's some things that thieves don't like. They don't like light or well lit areas, they certainly don't like alarms, and they don't like police presence, so we're trying to make ourselves more visible. We're trying to be in the right areas at the right times," McGehee said.

The sheriff's office encourages other churches or businesses to contact their office if they suspect any suspicious activity or break-ins.

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