Punctuating a recent outbreak of burglaries in the city of Graham, Bethel Baptist Church on Tennessee Street was broken into early Wednesday morning.
Electronic equipment, including a computer, was stolen and damaged, taken from both the sanctuary as well as the daycare behind it. Pastor Paul McQuerry said that there were signs of forced entry.
“They broke into the daycare and took a computer and some other things,” McQuerry said. “They tore apart some of our actual speakers and took some of the parts out. They broke in through a window.”
A Thursday, Jan. 9 press release from the Graham Police Department stated that there are no definite suspects in the case at this time, but the GPD suspects that the burglary is connected to two other burglaries that occurred in December, one at First United Methodist Church, and the other at the Graham Area Food Pantry.
The press release also stated that with regard to the two December burglaries, suspects have been developed and the GPD is in the process of filing charges and arresting the individuals.
Burglarized churches and charity offices appear to be the latest example of a break-in trend that shows no signs of diminishing.
On Dec. 3, two weeks prior to the Graham Area Food Pantry burglary on Dec. 19 that netted, among other items, over 2,000 pounds of stolen meat, First United Methodist Church was burglarized.
“Through all the years (FUMC has been in Graham), this was the first break-in of this type that we had,” said Sandra Boedeker, programing director for FUMC. “I think that people need to be aware of what’s going on right now. No one is safe from these kinds of break-ins.”
Read the entire story in the weekend edition of The Graham Leader.