JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Windows are broken and thousands of dollars in equipment are stolen. Now local pastors are fed up.
"When they do that they set the church back, especially when you don't have insurance. We don't have any insurance because it is hard to get insurance in this neighborhood," said Reverend P.D. Williams of Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church on Medgar Evers Boulevard.
Cornerstone Missionary Baptist is one of several churches in Jackson that has been broken into over the last two weeks. Councilman Kenneth Stokes wants the city to offer a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
"We think that the city must lead the effort to send the message that we're not going to tolerate this kind of behavior. We're not going to allow people to break in churches and rob God's house," said Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes.
Jackson Police have made some progress in the investigation. On Friday, 52 year old Alfred Lewis of Jackson was arrested after being found inside Calvary Baptist Church. The day before 48 year old Ernest Brown and 46 year old Leonard Troy Barnes, both of Jackson, were arrested for trying to break into vehicles in the parking lot of Evangelist Temple. Police Chief Rebecca Coleman said it's a first step towards solving the string of church burglaries.
Councilman Stokes believes there are more perpetrators out there. "We think it's going to be someone with some transportation because the areas that the person went into and the equipment that they took they are going to have some kind of transportation," said Stokes. "If you don't respect God's house you don't respect anything."
Councilman Stokes will put the reward for the church burglaries on the city council agenda for February 9th.
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