The number of burglarized churches in Dawson County continues to mount.
"Twelve churches have been hit since February of this year," said Dawson County Sheriff's Maj. Ray Goodie. "One has been hit multiple times."
He estimates the thefts have totaled more than $40,000.
"They are taking the same type of musical equipment, anything to do with musical equipment," Goodie said. "Electronics have been taken as well, but the majority has been musical equipment and instruments.
The culprits have left few clues behind.
"We've been working with Lumpkin County, which has had several church burglaries, sharing notes," Goodie said. "We're checking yard sale sites, eBay, Craigslist, flea markets, pawn shops, all those places. We're tracking down any leads that we come across."
The sheriff's offices in both Dawson and Lumpkin have established rewards in hopes of finding who is responsible for the thefts.
"We are both offering $1,000 rewards for information leading to an arrest and indictment concerning the church burglaries," Goodie said.
Investigators have also set up a meeting with area church leaders to share resources.
"We're going to give them information on what to look out for, what has been taken and see if there's any churches that may not have been reported that have noticed strange activity," Goodie said.
"We also want to make sure that the people in the community, if they notice any strange activity at any churches, that they call the sheriff's office so it can be investigated."
The meeting is set for 10:30 a.m. July 29 in the commissioner's meeting room on the second floor of the Dawson County Government Center.