A Christmas crook is on the run after breaking into a Limestone County Church.
It happened on the 1400 block of Browns Ferry Road at the Round Island Baptist Church. The Limestone County Sheriff's Office said the thief broke in on Christmas Eve night or early Christmas Morning.
The intruder nabbed a gaming system from the youth center as well as an iPhone from the pastor's office. The church is still working to take inventory of everything, but they are pretty sure those items are all the crook walked away with.
The sheriff's office said it appears whoever did this was looking for money. They did not find any, but the burglar did break several doors in the process.
The pastor said they were working to deliver food to those in need Christmas morning when they discovered what happened.
"They were here yesterday fixing meals they were fixing to take out to about 40 people. As they were getting ready to finish that up and deliver the meals, one of our church members came through the offices and noticed that the doors had been kicked in and stuff on the floor," said the Reverend Mike Green.
They discovered the crook used the cover of darkness, along with a giant piece of cement, to break into a place where anyone is welcome. A brick was thrown through a window to gain further access.
Some doors and some glass may be broken, but the spirit of Rev. Green is anything but.
"This is a giving church, so if it was somebody in need, we would have been more than happy to have given them something, a meal, stuff like that," he said.
A total of four doors will need to be repaired or replaced. Rev. Green said he and the other parishioners are glad there was not major damage.
"[They] did not do damage to our sanctuary, did not damage any of the things that are precious to us," he said.
The Limestone County Sheriff said the suspect will be charged with a felony for burglary if caught. That is punishable by more than a year in prison. He also said similar church burglaries around the county have taken place.
Sheriff Blakely suspects the same person is responsible for break-ins at East Highland Baptist Church on Roslyn Lane, Newby's Chapel on Nick Davis Road, and Lakeview Church on Lucas Ferry Road - all four happened in the last two weeks.
The sheriff also said the Limestone County cases could be connected to about a half-dozen across Decatur and Morgan County.