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Mountaintop churches under siege

October 15, 2019 07:59 pm

WINDHAM — A wave of church burglaries in the town has congregations on edge.

St. Theresa’s Church is among the victims, according to a message from Father Jay Atherton. A safe weighing more than 100 pounds containing between $1,000 and $3,000 in church donations was taken earlier this week.

“This was no small task as the safe itself was also bolted to the floor and weighs over 100 pounds,” Atherton said in a statement.

The person who broke into the church got in through the west sacristy door, Atherton said.

“It does not appear that this was an isolated incident since the Hope Restoration Church was also burglarized last night for the second time in two weeks,” Atherton said.

State police Public Information Officer Steven Nevel confirmed that police are investigating the burglaries but declined to comment further until an official statement is released.

Atherton encouraged parishioners who donated checks to the church Oct. 5-6 to contact their banks.

Atherton also offered forgiveness and understanding in his message to parishioners.

“I understand the anger, hurt, sadness and anxiety events like this can make us feel — such responses are both natural and reasonable,” Atherton said. “By God’s Grace, however, I hope that we will all find the courage to rise above any spirits of discouragement or vengeance. Let us pray for the law enforcement officers conducting the investigation, for their wisdom and success in bringing justice to this situation.” “As well, let us pray that whoever was involved in this theft will come to their senses and realize just how desperately they need help,” Atherton said. “Anyone who would do anything to imperil our ability to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the distressed, pray for sinners and give glory to God is truly and deeply broken and in need of great healing.”

Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to contact state police at 518-622-8600.

Windham Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office assisted state police in the investigation.