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Posted on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

Four church burglaries in western Washtenaw could be linked to similar incidents in Lenawee, Ohio

By Kyle Feldscher

Four church burglaries on the west side of Washtenaw County during the last two weeks may be related to similar burglaries in Lenawee County and northern Ohio, sheriff's deputies said Friday.


A laptop and cash was stolen from St. John's Lutheran Church earlier this week.

Courtesy of St. John's Lutheran Church

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is investigating burglaries at Salem Lutheran Church in Scio Township, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bridgewater Township, Bethel United Church of Christ in Freedom Township and Clinton Assembly of God in Bridgewater Township. All of the burglaries have occurred during the nighttime hours. Cash and a laptop were stolen from only one of the churches.

The first break-in was reported on Oct. 21 at Salem Lutheran Church, 7474 Scio Church Road. Deputies said a small window was forced open and the church’s office had been searched for money. It appeared nothing was taken during that break-in.

On Oct. 29, someone broke into the St. John’s Lutheran Church, 8805 Austin Road, and stole cash and a laptop. It’s unknown how the thief or thieves got into the building, deputies said.

That same day, a break-in was reported at Bethel United Church of Christ, 10425 Bethel Church Road. The thief or thieves ransacked multiple offices within the building in an apparent search for money and other items, but it's not clear how the building was accessed. However, it appears nothing was stolen, deputies stated.

The last break-in was reported on Oct. 30 at the Clinton Assembly of God, 13080 Clinton Road. A window was forced open and multiple offices were searched by the intruder or intruders, but nothing was reported stolen.

Investigators said similar church burglaries have been taking place in Lenawee County and northern Ohio. Sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Geoffrey Fox was unavailable for comment on whether deputies have tied those incidents to the burglaries in Washtenaw County.

There are no suspects at this point and sheriff’s deputies continue to investigate.

Anyone with information on these incidents, or who might see suspicious vehicles or people near churches late at night, is encouraged to call 911 or the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at 734-973-7711.

View Church burglaries in a larger map

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

There is a church on Webster Church Road. I am surprised that has not been hit yet as it is so far from everything. Wonder if that cemetery is keeping people at bay?


Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

wherever there is something to steal someone very well may steal it UNFORTUNATELY.When i was a kid (many years ago)i knew someone who stole the "poor box" from a church.i guess he straightened out though.hasn't been in the police notes for a very long time.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 3:19 a.m.

Thefts from churches??!! Proving the old adage: "There is no honor among thieves." ;-) Somehow, some people have missed the entire point of Jesus's teachings: Look to yourself in forming your relationship with God, depend not on the "priests" to do it for you. And by clear implication: don't think that spending an hour or so per week in a building run by a fraud is going to help in that endeavor. ;-) Property theft is still a crime, but this case isn't particularly disturbing. I hope the police catch the thieves - but all they took was free stuff anyway. If the priest-class individual in charge had been more responsible about the property donated (tax free) to him, the thieves would have had a harder time taking it.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

Pardon me!!! Free stuff? A theft is a theft - period!!!


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

Just a small reminder!!!! God does not like UGLE.............


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

Find them, lock them up and throw away the key.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

Remember, this is a Spartan trying to "play with the HTML." It will take a while.

Bertha Venation

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Just remember..... Karma, baby..... KARMA


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

I'm sure they will be proud to tell their friends and family what they did.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

All involved need to watch out for the DEVIL!


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

Stealing from churches is like using ripe carrion to tease Gila Monsters. What are you likely to get from doing it?


Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

Sounds like someone is starting small to work towards something bigger? Interesting thought.

Dog Guy

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

What are you likely to get from stealing from churches? Practice.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

What a beautiful church.

Bertha Venation

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.


Superior Twp voter

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

Lower than pond scum, stealing from places of worship.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

Throw the bass turd in jail.

Dog Guy

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Lower than pond scum would be the bass swimming below. Lower than the bass are the bass turds on the bottom.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

The map is not applicable.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

I've updated the map, hopefully it will show up soon and be fixed.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

I'm trying to play with the HTML to make it so all the sites show up in the initial view. Unfortunately, this is Google's area of expertise and not mine. Please bear with me.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

It is if you zoom out.