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Burglars strike at three local churches

Three local church buildings were broken into sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning, with items stolen at the three locations.

Officials at The First Assembly of God reported discovering a break-in at approximately 6:40 a.m. Sunday.

According to the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office incident narrative, two doors in the basement of the building, to the pastor’s and music minister’s offices, were removed from their hinges and two other doors were kicked in. The door to the secretary’s office was kicked in and heavily damaged, while another door across the room was kicked, but not damaged or opened.

The incident narrative reports a preliminary check showed a laptop computer, two guitars and an amplifier missing.

The second of the reports was received minutes after the first, at about 6:50 a.m., with the ACSO responding to the Restoration Fellowship Church.

According to the incident narrative, two of the church’s deacons reported that the building was entered at an unknown location, a door vandalized and a safe taken. One of the deacons, George Love, noted there was probably $100 in the safe.

While inspecting the building, an ACSO deputy discovered that a door to the secretary’s office was knocked off its hinges; the office was littered with debris from the door jamb and a cabinet that held the safe.

The third report, responded to by the Town of Pagosa Springs Police Department, was received at approximately 7:50 a.m. from Centerpoint Church.

Det. Scott Maxwell said that cash and property were stolen from the church and doors had been broken.

“We think they’re related,” Maxwell said of the break-ins. “We’re working with the sheriff’s department.”

Law enforcement officials are also on the lookout for a vehicle seen by a witness in the parking lot of the First Assembly of God at approximately 5:19 a.m. Sunday.

The witness said he observed a black, 1990s model Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot. The vehicle is said to be in “rough shape” and appeared as though the paint on the doors was faded compared to the rest of the vehicle.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Archuleta County Combined Dispatch at 264-2131.

randi@pagosasun.com