Sheriffs team up to stop church burglaries in WBR, Pointe Coupee parishes

POINTE COUPEE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The sheriff's offices in Pointe Coupee Parish and West Baton Rouge Parish have teamed up in hopes to stop thieves they believe are responsible for a number of church burglaries.

Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres said two churches in Lakeland, La were broken in to Sunday night. He explained that thieves stole two air conditioning units and a television.

Detectives believe these burglaries are connected to three other church burglaries that happened in West Baton Rouge Parish during Saturday night. Torres said small churches are easy targets.

"These Baptist churches all have something in common, that they are not frequented much as major Catholic churches where they have a priest on duty. Some of these minsters work every day," said Torres.

A.J Roppolo owns a hardware store right next to one of the churches that was burgled.

"You never hear that," said Roppolo. "You may hear of it in the city but not in a little country town like this."

Col. Richie Johnson with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said the department has teamed up with deputies out in Point Coupee Parish to make sure the criminals responsible will be brought to justice.

"It's just an example of no home training," said Johnson. "It's bad enough to break into somebody's stuff, but then you turn around and break into a church."

Anyone with information that can help investigators is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.