Religious buildings are becoming victims of burglars and vandals. The lastest case happened around 9:00 p.m. June 16, at a vacant building belonging to the Living Word Christian Fellowship.
According to police, a burglar admitted to living in the vacant school for two days. Police said they caught him running out the door with copper pipes from the toilets. The owner called the police, after seeing the man inside the building.
“He busted up a whole lot of toilets, busted out some walls,” said Pastor Timothy Thomas. “The building was ransacked, it was ransacked massively.”
Pastor Thomas said this is the fourth time the building has been burglarized in the past year.
‘We have about $150,000 to $200,000 worth of damage from copper pipes that got to go back in this building. They have literally destroyed this building,” said Thomas.
Police arrested Craig Jones, 45, in relation to the burglary. He’s charged with burglary of a religious building and resisting arrest. Police said Jones ran out the building with the pipes and ran from police but he didn't get far, after getting tangled in some thorns.
According to Shreveport Police, there’ve been six church burglaries in 2014, and 21 in 2013. In 2013, 15 churches were vandalized, out of the 2,541 vandalism cases. In 2014, one church was vandalized, out of 1,014 calls for vandalism.
To curtail this behavior, police suggest churches get barbed wire fences, and surveillance cameras. It also encourages neighbors to do their part, and call in any suspicious behavior.