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Glendale Christian Church broken into again

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Video cameras capture image of intruder

By Sarah Bennett

Glendale Christian Church security cameras caught the same man ransacking the building for what the congregation believes is the fourth time in the last two years early Monday morning.

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Despite the video footage and police investigations, the suspect is at-large, Brother Mike Bell said.

“We got him. We know what he looks like, but we can’t catch him,” Bell said.

This time the suspect was in the church between 12:30 and 3 a.m. Monday, he said.

He got away with about $6 in quarters, some Baskin Robbins coupons, a box of pens and an SLR camera, according to church staff. However, Bell continues to notice missing objects.

“He ransacks everything,” he said. “He went through every envelope that’s sealed in your desk. He takes everything out of your desk drawers. I have some boxes under (my desk). He went through all those.”

Bell adds the suspect tried to open a locked briefcase with a pair of scissors, which ended up being destroyed in the attempt.

He also went through Saturday’s unopened mail, bills that were ready to go out in Monday’s mail and children’s birthday cards, even taking a couple dollars out of one of them, the pastor said.

“I found things I didn’t know I had because he pulled them out of desk drawers,” Bell said.

Each time, the suspect approaches the church through the cemetery and jimmies the lock on a set of double doors in the basement, he said. Once, while the church was under construction, he entered through Bell’s office window.

“He knows exactly where he’s going,” Bell said.

The church has had to replace three wooden doors to the office, each costing $400-$500, because the burglar breaks down the locked office door by running into it, Bell said.

“We give so much money to people who are in need,” he said. “If he’d just come and ask, we’d give him money, but he’ll tear down a $400 door to get $6.”

Since the break-ins started, the church has added an additional security camera in the hallway outside the church’s office, Bell said, as well as reinforcing the basement double doors. There now is talk about replacing those doors.

As with the previous burglaries, Kentucky State Police is investigating. Bell said he is positive the same man has committed all four burglaries.

“We know it’s the same guy ... We have pictures of him, and it’s the same guy,” he said. “He’s getting more brazen.”

The minister said the man carries a duffel bag, which he puts his stolen items in, and he thinks the burglar operates on foot. Bell does not know if the man is local but knows he is not a member of Glendale Christian Church.

“The honest thing is we had been broken into, and it was so frustrating. I was afraid it was an inside job; that it was somebody in the church,” he said. “When we saw him the first time, I was so relieved that it was not somebody I knew. I was blessed that it wasn’t somebody I knew.”

Church secretary Laura Jones said as far as the congregation knows, no other burglaries have been reported in the Glendale area.

Bell said it doesn’t appear the suspect knows he’s been caught on security cameras. The church has sent the footage and still photos to state police and hopes the break-ins will cease.

The church has a fixed income and post-break-in repairs are costly, Bell said.

“He’s cutting into our opportunity to help others,” he said.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.