Authorities hope two arrests will help stop the recent rash of church break-ins across the Heartland.
Since June, at least three churches in Davis County reported break-ins in addition to more churches in Northeast Missouri. The Grace Pointe Church of the Nazarene, the Bloomfield United Methodist Church , and the Bloomfield Christian Church suffered losses this summer.
The Davis County Sheriff TMs Department executed two search warrants this month, arresting two brothers. Christopher James Scott, 20, of Bloomfield, Iowa, and David Patrick Scott Jr., 24, of Lancaster, Missouri, were arrested and charged in the Grace Pointe Church of the Nazarene break-in. Christopher faces a charge of Theft in the 2nd Degree and David faces a charge of Burglary in the 3rd Degree. Both are class D felonies.
While authorities believe one of the church break-ins has been solved, they continue working on the others. No arrests have been made towards (the Scotts on the other break-ins), said Davis County Sheriff Dave Davis. We don't have any evidence yet with the subjects we have arrested showing that they were a part of that.
While working with the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office on the arrest of David Patrick Scott Jr., Davis became aware his county is not the only one being burgled right now. Not only are we having church burglaries in our county here in Iowa, but we have also been made aware of several others in Schuyler, Scotland and Knox counties, Davis said.
KTVO also met with Pastor Kevin Gingerich of the Bloomfield United Methodist Church. It was broken into twice this summer, once in June and again in July. Gingerich said they lost a brand new laptop, keys, and a sum of cash from the break-ins.
He said they have changed some locks, added deadbolts and have taken further precautions to decrease the odds of another loss. He said while the church needs new outside doors, they are not going to replace them just because of this incident. Gingerich would rather take precautions than lock people out. The idea that someone would start breaking into churches (bothers me), Gingerich said. There's a lack of respect for people, for humans, but also a growing lack of respect for God."
Gingerich tried to give the break-ins a more positive spin with his sermon. While we may have been stolen from, how many times to we steal from God without knowing it?
While he did say they would likely press charges for restorative damages, Pastor Gingerich hasn TMt forgotten what God teaches us. I still want to offer words of encouragement and forgiveness to them. I want to let them know we are willing to forgive.