Several churches burglarized

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Several Craig churches were broken into during the weekend -- leaving some members of the churches stunned.

"I feel like it's someone who is lost," said Father Jose Saenz of Saint Michael's Catholic Church. "Knowing it is more than one church really hurts."

Along with Saint Michael's Catholic Church, First Con--gregational Church and Saint John's Greek Orthodox called police to report break-ins.

Craig police Lt. John Forgay said the break-ins happened because there were open doors or windows. He said that, at this point, all of the evidence at the scenes ties the three crimes together.

"They're probably related because of the proximity of the locations and the time they took place," he said.

Saenz said he reported the burglary when he came to the church at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday and found that a box used for collections was broken into.

Saenz further inspected the church and found that a window had been left open and the screen was out.

He said the alleged burglars had scoured the place looking for anything of value, but only came away with what little money there was in a small donation box.

Maxine Empson, the fin--ancial secretary for First Congregational Church, said that although a window was accidentally left open, nothing was taken or broken.

The First Congregational Church and Saint Michael's Catholic Church have been broken into before.

Saint John's Greek Orthodox Church was broken into June 18.

Saenz said he hopes the church does not have to change its policy of keeping its doors open during the day.

"It's tough to keep the doors closed," he said. "People want to pray."

Saenz, who has been in Craig a little more than a year, said churches are not the only ones who suffer from the break-ins.

"It hurts in the sense that when you break into the church, you're not just breaking into the house of God, you're breaking into the community," he said. "When you steal from us, you steal from everyone."

Forgay said evidence suggests the suspects were just looking for money. He also said police have received a description of some people who were in the area when the burglaries reportedly took place.

Anyone who has any information about any of the robberies is encouraged to call the Craig Police Department at 824-8111.

Luke Graham can be reached at 824-7031 or lgraham@craigdailypress.com

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