(CORY) - The Clay County Sheriff's Department is stepping up patrols around Cory. after a series of burglaries in the past month, including one that targeted a church.
Joe Astrouski of WTHI-TV reports that Sheriff Michael Heaton said that his department has received reports of at least 13 burglaries around the small town since the beginning of June, a number that is unusually high for the area.
"We've put extra patrol cars in," Heaton said. "If we see somebody out in their yard, we've stopped and talked to them."
Among the locations targeted by burglars was Cory Zion Church. The church's pastor said a church member first discovered that the church had been broken into when she entered the building late last week.
"When she came in, she saw two ladders set up ... and she thought to herself, 'I didn't know we were having work done,'" said Rev. William Riedel. "She saw all the drawers pulled out and the doors open, and when she stepped in and took a look around, she thought, 'I don't think we're having work done.'"
The burglars apparently made off with several musical instruments, two projectors, speakers, a sound board, a computer monitor, a metal cross, a set of offering plates and a communion set, Riedel said. In all, he estimates the items stolen are worth several thousand dollars.
He said the thieves also seem to have tried moving the church's organ before giving up.
Riedel also offered a message to the thieves:
"We're praying for you," Riedel said. "We hope the Lord will have mercy on you, and when you realize what you've done, you won't continue the path that you're presently going."
Authorities said these burglaries do not follow any clear pattern, and they said it is not clear whether the burglaries are all being carried out by the same people.
If you have information on the burglaries around Cory, you're asked to call the Clay County Sheriff's Department at ( 812) 446-2535.
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