Lancaster County sheriff’s deputies are investigating “a pattern of unusual incidents” at 10 churches throughout the county over the past two weeks.
In each case, someone has broken into the churches, sometimes causing damage in the process, according to the sheriff’s office. At eight of the churches, nothing of significant value was stolen.
At some churches, someone stole “unusual items,” the sheriff’s office said, such as a water hose, food, motor oil and the burner from a stove.
Deputies have increased patrols around the churches.
“Suspects who would burglarize a place of worship do not deserve to be free on the street,” Sheriff Barry Faile said. “We will do everything possible to make sure they are brought to justice.”
The churches where break-ins were reported are:
• Camp Creek AME Zion Church, 4022 Demount Road.
• Rocky Branch Baptist Church, 8407 Taxahaw Road.
• Faith Baptist Church, 4695 JB Denton Road.
• Camp Creek United Methodist, 4721 Great Falls Highway.
• Bethel Baptist Church, 2893 Bethel Road.
• Gold Hill AME Zion Church, 9239 Van Wyck Road.
• Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 8805 Van Wyck Road.
• St. Paul AME Zion Church, 5841 Taxahaw Road.
• Beaver Creek Presbyterian Church, 1928 Kershaw Country Club Road.
• Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church, 2814 Old Hickory Road.
Anyone with information on the identity or location of those responsible for these or any crimes in the Lancaster area can call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-4136 or Crimestoppers at 888-274-6372; or submit an anonymous tip at midlandscrimestoppers.com.