Police: Thieves strike three Hancock Co. churches

Police: Thieves strike three Hancock Co. churches

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Police need your help right now. They want to know who broke into three Hancock County churches over the past week. Authorities say the thief or thieves got away with thousands of dollars in electronic equipment from all three churches.

Mount Chapel Baptist Church in Waveland, Macedonia Missionary Baptist, also in Waveland, and Calvary Chapel in Bay St. Louis are the three churches police say were hit by thieves in recent days.

Authorities say Mount Chapel on Herlihy Street was robbed in broad daylight Monday afternoon.

"I went to the sound room to get the key to stick in the lock, and the door popped opened, and I noticed that someone broke in the sound room," said Leo Hawkins, Associate Pastor at Mount Chapel.

Hawkins said when he looked around, he noticed the public address system was gone.

"They come in through the side door and kicked it in, and they kicked in the pastor's door, and they kicked in a couple of other doors, ripped the TV off the wall, stole some speakers out of the pulpit in all," explained Hawkins.

Police believe the same suspects committed a similar crime the same day at a church down the street and around the corner at Macedonia Missionary.

"I wouldn't want to pay the price for breaking into God's house," said Hawkins.

Authorities are now looking into a possible connection between those two burglaries and a recent theft at Calvary Chapel in Bay St. Louis, where up to $12,000 worth of sound equipment was stolen.

"Someone had just given us a sound board with four speakers. They ripped those off the wall and took off," said Pastor Frank Griffin. "Years ago, it was even taboo to think of taking anything from a church. It just goes to show the moral decline of our country."

Leaders from all three churches have taken steps in hopes of preventing theft from happening again.

"We've put in an eight camera system in our alarm center," said Griffin.

Waveland police investigators are asking anyone who may have been passing by Mount Chapel or Macedonia Missionary on Monday for information on any suspicious vehicles that may have been parked nearby. If you have information, you can contact the police department at 228-467-3669.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.