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