String of church burglaries in Lowndes County continue

| July 31, 2017

LOWNDES CO. – Lowndes County authorities continue to investigate a string of burglaries at local churches.

In the past two weeks, these churches have reported burglaries with similar items stolen:


  • Swilly Hill Church of God on Hickory Grove Road
  • St. Mark Baptist Church in Naylor
  • Korean First Presbyterian Church on Bemiss Road
  • Corinth Baptist Church on Corinth Baptist Church Road
  • Unity Primitive Baptist Church in Lake Park
  • Lake Park Church of God on West Marion Avenue

The most recent report came from Lake Park Church of God last Wednesday.

The Lake Park Police Department says the thief stole a plastic jug of money and a safe.

“It’s bad enough breaking into a person’s home or business, but a church is a sanctuary,” says Chief James Breletic, Lake Park Police Department. “That’s where people go for their own interpersonal time. We need the public’s helps and it’s time they stand up and come forward.”

A local pawn shop owner in Valdosta is keeping an eye out.

Tony Franks owns Southland Pawn & Jewelry and also happens to be a worship leader at Corinth Baptist Church.

The church says the thief stole money raised by young kids for Vacation Bible School, along with multiple electronics and musical instruments.

“It’s very sad. We all had personal stuff that left. My bass was something very important to me. As an older guy, it was lightweight, so it didn’t weigh a lot and played really good. It’s just sadness that somebody would do that,” says Franks.

Monday, he says a Good Samaritan saw what happened to the church and dropped off a free bass guitar to replace the stolen one.

Corinth Baptist Church says they’re moving forward knowing that everything stolen can be replaced.

“He gave it to me. You tell me, is that an accident? No, it’s a miracle,” says Franks.

Many churches are now bumping up safety efforts, such as security systems and more lighting.

They hope the culprits are caught before another local church suffers.

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office says there’s no new updates or leads at this time.

(WCTV Eyewitness News)


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