It’s believed a break-in that occurred over the nights of Thursday-Friday, Oct. 11- 12, at the Templo Cristiano/ Assembly of God is connected to other similar break-ins throughout the area.
Martin Schmidt, Archbold police chief, said sometime between 6 pm, Thursday, Oct. 11, and 11:22 am, Friday, Oct. 12, a thief or thieves forced their way into the church through a basement window.
Once inside, two safes were broken into, and about $335 in cash was taken.
The theft was discovered when Misael Rodriguez, pastor, entered the building and discovered things had been tampered with.
Roy Miller, chief deputy of the Fulton County Sheriff Department, confirmed there were several other thefts.
On Oct. 15, Pettisville Missionary Church was broken into. Electronic equipment and other items were taken. A window and a door at the church suffered $650 in damage.
Other churches hit that night included Tedrow United Methodist, Tedrow Mennonite, and Our Lady of Mercy, Fayette.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Wauseon, was broken into. A $1,500 video projector and $40 in cash was taken Oct. 13.
A church in Morenci, Mich., was broken into on Oct. 25, and another breakin occurred in Weston, Mich., on Oct. 30.
Miller said there are re ports of churches broken into near the Washtenaw County, Mich., border with Lenawee County.
In some of the break-ins, nothing was taken.
The recent rash of thefts is not believe to be connected with two break-ins at Archbold churches in June.
A theft of musical equipment from Zion Mennonite Church, valued at about $5,400, was reported June 9.
A guitar valued at $200, plus a music amplifier with an unknown value, was reported stolen June 20.
Miller said there are no leads at this point.
“We followed up on something, but it didn’t pan out,” he said.
Miller said law enforcement agencies are working together to solve the crimes.
“If we get any kind of a lead, we’ll follow it up,” he said.–David Pugh