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Churches burglarized, two hit in two weeks
FB DCN Religion 1

Authorities are investigating the back-to-back weekend burglaries of two churches in Dawson County.

"At this point, we can't say they're related. We're pretty sure they are not, but we're still looking into that," said Maj. Ray Goodie, commander of the Dawson County Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division.

During the most recent break-in, the unidentified suspect or suspects got away with thousands of dollars' worth of various goods, including what investigators called an expensive drone, or unmanned aircraft system.

A mini refrigerator, printer, computer monitor and a small amount of cash were also among the missing items at Lighthouse Baptist Church on Harmony Church Road.

Goodie said church leaders reported the burglary Sunday morning when upon arriving for services.

"We believe it happened overnight Saturday," he said.

According to the police report, deputies found no signs of forced entry.

"There was obvious damage to some of the doors inside the church where the items were taken," Goodie said.

Saturday's break-in came a week after Christ Fellowship Church on Hightower Parkway was reportedly robbed overnight Aug. 19.

There the suspect, who entered the locked church offices through drop ceiling tiles, stole only a lock box containing a "small amount of petty cash."

"That was the fourth time the church had been hit in a month, but they had only reported two break-ins," Goodie said. "I'm not sure why the other two were initially reported, but this time, the suspects damaged a lot of stuff inside the church, and the amounts taken are getting worse and they're getting more frequent."

Again, there was no sign of forced entry into the church.

"We're continuing to investigate the burglaries at both churches," Goodie said. "We've also stepped up patrols at churches across the county and asked our patrol officers to start doing door checks again to make sure the churches are locked and secured like they're supposed to be."

Anyone with information is asked to call (706) 344-3535.