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Churches recent targets of criminals

March 30, 2011
A recent spat of break-ins and thefts have been focused on local churches. In the last couple of months, at least three churches have reported break-ins, vandalism or thefts.

In the most recent incident, Lt. Debra Young of the Crawford County Sheriff's Department was called to investigate a theft at a church near Carefree.

According to police, Anita Larimore reported that someone had stolen an air conditioner unit from the Christian's Missionary Church of Carefree along S.R. 66 south of Interstate 64.

When Young arrived at the church, Larimore and her husband, Morris, who is the pastor of the church, showed her where the theft had taken place at the rear of the building. It was determined that not one, but two air conditioner units had been stolen.

"Someone had turned off the electric power and cut the lines leading to the units," Young said.

There was a third air conditioner unit located near the front entrance to the building, but it was not taken.

"That one was in plain sight of the highway," Young added, "so they didn't try to steal it. But the other two units were behind the building and they were out of sight, so they could take their time, unhook and load the units and just drive off with them."

Young said the Larimores had been at the church on March 19 until about 3 p.m.

"And there was a youth group there until about 4 p.m. that day," Young added. "Morris believes that the units were still there at that time."

When the Larimores went to the church the following day, on March 20, they discovered the units were missing and called police.

"The church building is only about two years old," Morris Larimore said in a phone call later. "There were disconnect boxes for the electric to the units nearby, so they were able to turn off the electric before they cut the lines. One person, on their way to work, saw a utility truck parked at the church about 9 p.m. that night. But they haven't caught anyone yet."

The stolen units were the same make — Bryant Legacy Line — and were purchased from Cobb's Heating and Cooling in Corydon. The Larimores are contacting Cobb's for the serial numbers of the units.

Anyone with information on the thefts should contact the Crawford County Sheriff's Department at 338-2802.

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