Church Burglaries


During the past several weeks, 13 churches have been burglarized in LaSalle, Catahoula, and Avoyelles parishes, prompting investigators to form a multi-agency task force to put an end to what some call the highest form of theft.
“It’s just sickening,” LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin said. “These are places of reverence and worship that are being burglarized and we are committed to not only finding the culprits, but insuring they see the inside of a jail cell.”
Most of the time, the thieves appear to be searching for cash money, but in some instances, other items were taken.
So far, the list of churches broken into include:
LaSalle Parish:
July 17: Olla Apostolic Pentecostal Church.
July 18-19: Jena First Baptist Church.
July 24-27: Shady Grove Pentecostal Church.
July 26: Sanctuary Family Worship Center in Jena.
Catahoula Parish:
June 25: Parhams Baptist Church.
July 18: Wallace Ridge Pentecostal Church.
July 18: Rosefield Baptist Church.
July 20: New Ouachita Baptist Church.
Avoyelles Parish:
July 3-4: Eola Baptist Church.
July 3-4: New Pilgrim Baptist Church.
July 15: Christian Family Worship Center in Mansura.
July 17-18: Richey Baptist Church near Deville.
July 17-18: Centerpoint Pentecostal Church near Deville.

Catahoula Parish Sheriff Toney Edwards noted that his deputies are doing everything they can to patrol churches in his parish and LaSalle Sheriff Franklin said his are doing the same.
“But the fact is we have so many churches in our parishes that we can’t be everywhere,” Edwards said. “That’s why we need the publics help to keep an eye on our communities and to report any suspicious activity as soon as they see it.”
He also noted that while the eyes of law enforcement are limited, there is one set of eyes that no one can escape.
“Although we don’t know who the thieves are at this time, there is surely one who does know, and they cannot hide from him,” the Catahoula sheriff said.

For those with any information on the church burglaries in any of the three parishes, please contact the following:
In LaSalle, Detective Richard Smith or Detective Leland Guin at (318) 992-2151.
In Catahoula, Chief Detective Bubba Roy at (318) 744-5411.
In Avoyelles, Detective Mike Simmons at (318) 253-4000.

A much more detailed story will be in next week’s Jena Times newspaper.

*Story from The Jena Times.