By Noah Chandler

Perhaps they should have read Deuteronomy 24:7.

Thieves have broken into three churches this week in a rash of crimes that are being investigated by the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office. In one church alone, nearly $15,000 worth of items were stolen.

First Baptist Church of Vinemont Pastor Mike Snow was initially shocked but said the church is no longer a barrier from criminals and crime.

“I believe the laws of the land should take their course,” Snow said. “Hopefully somewhere along the way they will be reached out to and know that there is a better alternative road to take and that would be a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office is asking the communities of Crane Hill and Vinemont for help solving the three break-ins.

“We are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect,” Sheriff Tyler Roden said. “We stress they can stay anonymous if they want, but if they are willing to help and give their name we would like to reward them for their help.”

Deputy Chief Tony Quick said three churches in Vinemont and Crane Hill have been broken into since Monday.

“The people doing these break-ins will continue as long as they are free,” Quick said. “With public help and attention within their communities helping law enforcement keep check on churches and businesses, we can partnership and hopefully arrest those responsible for these thefts.”

The first break-in was reported by a church member from Sulphur Springs Baptist Church, located in Crane Hill off County Road 852, at 8 p.m. Monday.

Quick said the thief or thieves took sound equipment, two computers, a power point projector, two TVs, a CD player, and a wireless transmitter from the church totaling $14,890.

“This particular burglary could be solved with the help of the community,” Quick said. “The members of the church were responsible enough for the equipment to accurately record serial numbers were we can identify it.”

Both First Baptist Church in Vinemont, located on County Road 1343, and Prospect Church of Christ, located on County Road 222 in Crane Hill, were reported as being broken into early Wednesday morning. Information about these two break-ins will be made available following the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office initial investigation.

Roden asked anyone with information about the thefts to call investigators at 734-0342 or the secret witness tip-line at 734-0210.

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