Police Catch Church Thieves Red-Handed

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Wichita police arrested three suspects Sunday that may be connected to a series of recent church thefts and burglaries.

Lt. Barry Von Fange, Wichita Police, said an officer was watching property at Westlink Church of Christ, 10025 W. Central, late Sunday night. A pickup truck backed up to a shed right in front of the concealed officer. Then three people broke into it.

The thieves then tried to steal a riding lawn mower and other lawn equipment, Lt. Von Fange said. Three people were arrested at the scene.

Police said the suspects may be responsible for at least three other related crimes over the last week. Thieves targeted Jehovah Witness Church, 21st and Maize, St. Andrews Lutheran, 25th and Hyacinth, and Prairie Trail Cowboy Church, 8552 S. Broadway, in Haysville.

"We like churches or all property owners to record their serial numbers," Von Fange explained. "It's good idea to get a stencil and stencil the church name all over the equipment to make it as hard as possible for someone to try to get rid of."

The investigation is ongoing.

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